Truck driver Maurice Robinson charged with 39 manslaughter counts

25-year-old Maurice Robinson will  to appear at the Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court via video link. He is charged with the deaths of 39 people found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex.

The bodies were found in a lorry in the early hours of Wednesday last week on an industrial estate in Grays. DNA tests are being carried out in Vietnam to help to identify the dead.

Robinson is charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

The Irish police arrested a man in Dublin on Saturday “is a person of interest” in the investigation of the Essex police. Three other people arrested in connection with the deaths have been released on bail, Essex Police said on Sunday.

Authorities are now working on the largest mass fatality victim identification process.

Initially police said that the victims were Chinese, but a number of Vietnamese families have described how they fear their loved ones are among the dead.

Some of the victims are said to have paid thousands of pounds to guarantee their safe passage to the UK, from where they would be able to carry out work that would give them money to send home.

There is speculation that the lorry that was caught was part of a convoy of three carrying about 100 people.

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