Maurice Robinson, 25, the lorry driver who was arrested after eight women and 31 men were found dead in a trailer in Essex has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, announced the Essex Police in an official statement.
“The Crown Prosecution service has authorised Essex Police to charge a man in connection with the investigating the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in Grays on Wednesday,” said the Essex Police, announcing the first charges in the investigation to the public.
Robinson , also known as Mo, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park.
He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, October 28, charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.
The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service on Saturday, three days after the tragic discovery at the Waterglade Retail Park in Grays.
A 38 year-old man and a 38 year-old woman from Warrington and a 48 year-old man from Northern Ireland, who were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter remain in police custody custody and are still being questioned by authorities over the deaths.
A fifth person was also arrested in Dublin in connection with the investigation earlier.
Meanwhile Belgian police are hunting the driver who delivered the trailer to Zeebrugge before it travelled to the UK.
The victims were initially thought to be Chinese but police are now investigating reports that several were from one rural community in Vietnam.
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters on Saturday 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”.
Officers are attempting to identify the victims through fingerprints, DNA and other distinguishing features after finding “very, very few” documents with the bodies, Pasmore said. (Source: The Independent UK)