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Extradition order for suspect in 2019 Essex lorry migrants' deaths

The High Court in Dublin has ordered the extradition of an Irish national wanted by the UK police for his alleged involvement in the death of 39 Vietnamese migrants, who were found dead in a refrigerated lorry in Essex county last year.

Updated Jun 13, 2020 03:47 AM

Extradition order for suspect in 2019 Essex lorry migrants' deaths

The person to be extradited is 40-year-old Ronan Hughes, who lives in Ireland's northern County Monaghan, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hughes was the owner of the truck used in smuggling the 39 Vietnamese migrants into the UK from Belgium last October.

All the migrants were later found dead in the truck's refrigerated container parked at an industrial estate in Essex, UK.

UK police charged Hughes with multiple counts of manslaughter and illegal smuggling of people into Britain and sought his extradition from Ireland.

Hughes was arrested by Irish police in April and has since remained in the police custody without a bail.

He had tried to appeal against his extradition but the appeal was officially rejected by the court on Friday.

In announcing the ruling, Justice Paul Burns of the High Court said that the UK had jurisdiction to prosecute the alleged offences that occurred on its territory.

During Friday's court hearing, Hughes was described as "the ringleader" of a group smuggling people into the UK, said the report.

He was accused of conspiring with others in smuggling illegal migrants into the UK between May 1, 2018 and October 24, 2019.

The court heard that the migrants were smuggled in commercial trailers owned and operated by Hughes and that Hughes paid the drivers, including that of the truck which carried the 39 Vietnamese migrants.

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