Friday , October 30 2020

Essex lorry deaths latest: Manhunt for brothers Christopher and Ronan Hughes wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and trafficking – Evening Standard, Standard.co.uk


        

          

                                                                                          

A manhunt has been launched for two brothers who are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking over thedeaths of 39 peoplefound dead in a lorry in Essex.

                                                                                                                                                

Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, both from Armagh inNorthern Ireland, are being sought by the police investigating the incident.

                                                                                                                                                   

Detectives from Essex Police released information and photographs of the pair on Tuesday.

                                                                                                                                                

Ronan – who also goes by Rowan – and Christopher also have links to theRepublic of Ireland.

                                                                                                                                                

The bodies of eight women and 31 men were found in a refrigerated trailer attached to a lorry in an industrial park in Grays in the early hours of last Wednesday

                                                                                                                                                                          

39 Bodies found in a container at Waterglade Industrial Park, Grays

    
                                                                     

The discovery sparked a huge international investigation to try and identify the victims.

                                                                                                                                                

Police initially believed the 39 were all Chinese nationals, butVietnamesemen and women are feared to be among the dead.

                                                                                                                                                   

All of the victims have since been moved from the vehicle to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.

                                                                                                                                                

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper, who is leading the investigation, said: “Finding and speaking to the Hughes brothers is crucial to our investigation.

                                                                                                                                                            

“At this time we believe they are in Northern Ireland but they also have links to the Irish Republic.

                                                                                                                                                

“If you know where they are or have any information about their whereabouts I need you to call my team.

                                                                                                                                                                              

“This is a case where 39 men and women have tragically died and support from the community is going to be vital to help bring those responsible to justice.

                                                                                                                                                

“You may think the piece of information might be insignificant but even the smallest detail could be vital so please contact my officers.”

                                                                                                                                                                   

      

        Home SecretaryPritiPatel told parliament that the government must be ‘ruthless’ in its response (Stefan Rousseau /WPA/ Getty images)       

       

It is not yet known when the victims entered the trailer – where temperatures can be as low as minus 25 C if the fridge is activated – or the exact route it traveled.

                                                                                                                                                             

Belgian officials said the trailer arrived at Zeebrugge at 2. 49 pm on Tuesday and left the port the same day on it wau to Purfleet in Essex.

                                                                                                                                                

The trailer arrived at Purfleet at around 12. 30 am on Wednesday, and was picked up by the cab, known as the tractor, which arrived from Northern Ireland via Holyhead in North Wales on Sunday.

                                                                                                                                                

The lorry left the port at Purfleet shortly after 1. 05 am before police were called to the Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays at 1. 40 am.

                                                                                                                                                             

As part of the investigation, Maurice “Mo” Robinson, 25, of Craigavon, Northern Ireland, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, and money laundering.

                                                                                                                                                

He is next due to appear at the Old Bailey (November) .

                                                                                                                                                

Anyone with information can contact Essex Police on 101 or online at theUK Police Major Incident Public Reporting site.

                                                                                        

Those with information can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

                                                                                        

Additional reporting by PA Media.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

        

                   

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