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Man Involved in Deadly Human Smuggling Case of Vietnamese Victims Plead Guilty

August 31, 2020, 05.08 PM

LONDON, - A truck driver from Northern Ireland, Ronan Hughes has pled guilty to manslaughter in a deadly human smuggling case that took place last year in southeastern England.

His case involved the deaths of 39 people found in the back of a container truck in an industrial park on October 23 in the English town of Grays.

The 40-year-old of County Armagh in Northern Ireland agreed to enter the plea at Central London Criminal Court.

All of the victims of Britain’s human smuggling case were all Vietnamese.

Read also: Vietnam’s Da Nang Under Lockdown Following Fresh Covid-19 Cases

The scope of the tragedy became clear as police released the names and ages of those who died in one of Britain’s worst incidents of human smuggling.

Two of the dead were only 15, while the oldest was 44. About 20 of the victims came from one province, Nghe An, in north-central Vietnam.

Hughes also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration of non-European Union citizens between May 1, 2018 and October 24, 2019.

Read also: UK Appoints “Channel Threat Commander” as Migrant Crossings Surge

Hughes appeared alongside Eamonn Harrison, 23, also of County Down, Northern Ireland, who is alleged to have driven the truck's trailer to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before it sailed to Purfleet in England.

Harrison pleaded innocent to 39 counts of manslaughter and one count of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and will face trial October 5 with three others.

Gazmir Nuzi, 42, of Tottenham in north London, who appeared via video-link, pleaded guilty to a single charge of assisting unlawful immigration on or before October 11, 2019 and April 18, 2020.

Read also: Migrant Rescues in the Mediterranean Sea to Resume in August

The pleas were not the first in the tragic case.

Another driver Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter in April.

Robinson discovered the bodies after transporting the container from Purfleet to Grays.

In June, Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 28 admitted to one count of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration. 

(Writer & Editor: Associated Press) 


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