Two arrested in Vietnam in connection with Essex truck deaths

CNN
November 01, 2019 - 11:13 am
Police and forensic officers investigate a lorry in which 39 bodies were discovered in the trailer, as they prepare move the vehicle from the site on October 23, 2019 in Thurrock, England.

Leon Neal/Getty Images

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By Angus Watson, Stephanie Halasz, Samuel Quashie-Idun and Bianca Britton, CNN

(CNN) -- Vietnamese police have arrested two suspects in connection to the deaths of 39 people found in the back of a truck in England last month.

The Deputy Director of the Nge An district police department said the pair will be prosecuted in connection to missing persons from 10 different families in the area.

Police said they suspect the arrested pair may also have been involved in previous missing persons cases.

The development came a week after 39 people were found dead in the back of a refrigerated lorry in a UK industrial park in Grays, Essex, 20 miles east of London.

Meanwhile, UK police investigating the deaths appealed to two brothers to hand themselves in. Detectives made a "direct appeal" to Ronan and Christopher Hughes to come forward and "assist" the investigation, during a press conference in Belfast on Friday.

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"Although we have already spoken to Ronan Hughes recently by telephone, we need to have a conversation with him and his brother in person," Detective Chief Inspector of Essex Police, Daniel Stoten said.

"Talking to Ronan and Christopher is crucial to our investigation, and the sooner we can make this happen, the sooner we can progress and continue with our investigation," he added.

Stoten said that the brothers "are known to have links in Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as the shipping industries."

"It is essential that we follow all lines of inquiry and bring those responsible for these tragic events to justice," he said, while urging anyone with knowledge of the pair to get in touch with police.

Also on Friday, a 23-year-old man, Eamon Harrison, appeared in the High Court in Dublin on a European arrest warrant. Essex police said they hadstarted extradition proceedings to bring Harrison to the UK from Ireland so he can face charges of manslaughter, as well as human trafficking and immigration offenses.

Maurice "Mo" Robinson, a 25-year-old truck driver, appeared in court earlier this week, charged with 39 counts of manslaughter. Robinson, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, was arrested shortly after the bodies were found in the back of a truck he was driving on October 23.

Appearing by video link, he was remanded in custody by magistrates in Chelmsford, Essex and will next appear at the Old Bailey in London on November 25.

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