Driver Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in 39 Vietnamese Truck Deaths

39 Dead Bodies were Discovered in Container in Essex in October 2019

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The driver of a truck in which bodies were discovered in southeast England last year has pleaded guilty to 39 counts of manslaughter.

25-year-old Maurice Robinson, of Northern Ireland, was arrested in October in Essex after bodies of 31 men and boys and eight women, all Vietnamese, were discovered in a container of the truck. The trailer had arrived on a cargo ferry from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

Robinson had pleaded guilty at a hearing in November to charges of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.

A second man charged with 39 counts of manslaughter pleaded not guilty. The man has since been identified as Gheorghe Nica, a British-Romanian dual national.

Several other suspects have been arrested and charged in both Vietnam and the United Kingdom.