LORRY DRIVER CHARGED OVER 39 MIGRANT DEATHS
A lorry driver has been charged with killing 39 migrants who were found dead in a trailer in Essex.
Maurice Robinson, 25, who is known as Mo, is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday.
He was charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering on Saturday.
Robinson, who is from Northern Ireland, was arrested shortly after the bodies of eight women and 31 men were found in the refrigerated trailer attached to his Scania cab in an industrial park in Grays in the early hours of Wednesday.
The charges came after a man wanted in connection with the investigation was arrested at Dublin port on Saturday.
Gardai said the man, who is in his early 20s and from Northern Ireland, was held over an unrelated outstanding court order.
He is understood to be sought by Essex Police as part of their probe, and the force confirmed officers are in touch with Irish police.
Three other people arrested over the deaths remain in custody.
A 48-year-old man, from Northern Ireland, was detained at Stansted Airport on Friday on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter.
Officers had earlier arrested a couple named locally as haulage boss Thomas Maher and his wife Joanna, both 38, in Warrington, where they have a four-bedroom home.
The pair, originally from southern Ireland, were held on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter and people trafficking.
In Belgium, police are hunting the driver who delivered the trailer to Zeebrugge, the port it left before arriving in the UK.
All of the victims have now been moved from the truck in Tilbury Docks to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.
Essex Police initially believed they were all Chinese nationals, but Vietnamese men and women are now feared to be among the dead.
Vietnamese ambassador to the UK, Tran Ngoc An, spoke to Home Secretary Priti Patel on Friday night before meeting investigators from the National Crime Agency and Essex Police.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters on Saturday the ambassador had visited the civic centre in Grays to pay tribute to the victims.
DCI Pasmore said the nationality of the victims is not yet known, but the focus is now on the Vietnamese community - although "there may be other nationalities involved".Published: by Radio NewsHub