Migrants: Lorry driver pleads guilty to manslaughter

UK authorities found the victims inside an ice truck in Essex

LONDON – A British lorry driver pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 39 people on Friday in the case surrounding the discovery of dead Vietnamese migrants in a lorry container last October, Anadolu Agency reported.

Ronan Hughes, 40, of Co Armagh in Northern Ireland, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court in London.

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He was previously charged with 39 counts of manslaughter after the dead bodies of 39 Vietnamese people — including women and children — were found in the trailer of a lorry in Essex in October 2019. They had died of a lack of oxygen and overheating in an enclosed space.

Among the dead were 10 teenagers, including two 15-year-olds, who were the youngest victims. The oldest casualty was 44.

Hughes was accused of being part of a people-smuggling ring, and prosecutors said he played a leading role by allowing his trailers and drivers to be used.

— BERNAMA