Essex

Essex lorry deaths: Man admits offence linked to people-smuggling

British police move the lorry container where 39 people were found dead. Photo: 23 October 2019 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The lorry container arrived on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium in the early hours of 23 October

A man has admitted an immigration offence linked to an alleged people-smuggling operation which resulted in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese nationals.

Their bodies were found in a refrigerated lorry trailer in Grays, Essex, in October.

Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 28, a Romanian national, of Hobart Road in Essex, appeared at the Old Bailey earlier.

He admitted one count of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration between May 2018 and October 2019.

He will be sentenced at a later date, following the trial of other defendants accused over the deaths.

The bodies were found shortly after the lorry arrived on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium in the early hours of 23 October.