Essex lorry deaths: Wanted man is arrested

image copyrightPA Media
image captionIt is alleged the arrested man fled Belgium after hearing the migrants had died

A man wanted in Belgium on suspicion of smuggling a number of Vietnamese migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex has been arrested.

The man was located by National Crime Agency officers in the Redditch area of Worcestershire on 15 December.

He is subject to extradition proceedings and has been remanded in custody until a hearing on 12 March.

Four men have been found guilty of their part in a people-smuggling ring that led to the deaths in October 2019.

The arrested man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is suspected of having been involved in transporting at least 10 of the 39 people found dead in Essex, moving them from a safe house in Anderlecht, Brussels, in taxis to a location near the French/Belgian border before they were put on to the lorry.

After hearing the migrants had died, it is alleged the man fled Belgium and initially went to Germany before moving to the UK.

image captionThe 39 people who died in the back of a trailer as it crossed the North Sea between Zeebrugge and the UK

A European Arrest Warrant was issued by a Belgian investigating judge.

Details of the arrest have been released following the conclusion of the trial at the Old Bailey that found Eamonn Harrison, 24, and Gheorghe Nica, 43, convicted of manslaughter.

Christopher Kennedy, 24, from County Armagh, and Valentin Calota, 38, of Birmingham, were found guilty of conspiring to assist illegal immigration.

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