GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track

GPS data reveals lorry containing 39 migrants later found dead had stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track known as a people trafficking hotspot

  • GPS data shows the trailer made ‘identical’ journey week before migrants found
  • It stopped on a private track near Orsett, Essex at around 6.50am on October 18
  • Man who lives nearby allegedly saw migrants jump from a lorry three weeks ago 

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The refrigerated trailer in which 39 migrants were found dead in Essex had stopped on a dirt track considered to be a people trafficking hotspot, GPS data has revealed.

Tracking data shows the container made a very similar journey overseas a week before the migrants were discovered inside it in Greys, Essex on October 23, the Times reported.

The trailer, which was leased from Global Trailer Rentals in Monaghan, Ireland on October 15, was driven 20 minutes from Purfleet to Orsett in Essex on its return from Zeebrugge, Belgium on October 18. 

Here, an unknown driver made a short, five-minute stop on the private track near Orsett golf club at around 6.50am.

GPS data also appears to show the container made a stop at the nearby D&J Exports on its return from the continent.

Tracking data shows the refrigerated trailer made an almost identical journey a week before eight women and 31 men were found dead inside it in Greys on October 23

A man who lives near Orsett golf club, which is beside the aforementioned dirt track, said he had reported allegedly seeing ’15 to 20′ migrants jump out of a lorry three weeks earlier. 

On its outbound journey, the trailer made stops at a Morrisons Distribution Centre in Swale, Kent at 12.40pm before pausing at a nearby scrapyard.

It then stopped at a B&Q in Gillingham at around 5.30pm ahead of leaving Dover.

Peter Hyams, who owns D&J Exports, said he had ‘no record’ of the lorry stopping there.  

This tracking data could suggest the 39 migrants were transported into the UK via. Belgium as part of an organised people smuggling operation. 

The victims were initially thought to all be Chinese nationals, but Essex Police revealed on Friday that it now believes the migrants are all Vietnamese. 

GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track

The trailer (pictured), which was leased from Global Trailer Rentals in Monaghan, Ireland on October 15, made stops at a Morrisons Distribution Centre in Swale, Kent

The man who leased the container on October 15, Ronan Hughes, is currently wanted by police alongside his brother Christopher. 

On Friday, MailOnline revealed how two HGVs linked to the brothers were chased by the authorities in the days before 39 migrants were found dead in the back of a lorry they allegedly own.

The pair have been on the run for ten days with police in Northern Ireland, Ireland and England wanting to arrest them on suspicion of manslaughter and people trafficking. 

It emerged a green lorry with R Hughes livery, and a red and white lorry with C Hughes on the cab, were caught on camera failing to stop for a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency vehicle outside Immingham Docks on Humberside last month.

GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track

Police drive the lorry container along the road from the scene in Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex on October 23

GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track

Brothers Ronan and Chris Hughes, from Co Armagh, are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking but have vanished 

The DVSA car, a common sight at UK ports on the look out for unsafe lorries, tries to pull them over but is forced to give chase when they fail to stop.

The same bright green lorry was pulled over in Northern Ireland yesterday by officers hunting the siblings from Co Armargh since the 39 bodies were found at Purfleet docks in Essex on October 23.

A driver who posted the footage on Facebook said the lorries involved in the incident near Grimsby were trying to avoid an inspection, but a spokesman for the DVSA told MailOnline: ‘We are unable to comment on ongoing cases’.

It is not known if Ronan and Chris Hughes were driving the lorries at the time – and police also refused to comment.

GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track

A green lorry with R Hughes livery, and a red and white lorry with C Hughes on the cab, were caught on camera failing to stop for a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency vehicle outside Immingham Docks on Humberside last month

Who has been arrested or charged so far? 

These are the people who have been arrested, charged or bailed by police.

Lorry driver Maurice Robinson: Arrested on suspicion of murder, the 25-year-old was charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, people trafficking and money laundering. He appeared in court in Chelmsford and will appear again at the Old Bailey this month.

Eamon Harrison, 20, from Northern Ireland: Arrested after getting off a ferry on Saturday afternoon.A blue Scania truck that he was driving has been impounded by the police.

He was charged with manslaughter and trafficking offences 

Joanna Maher, 38, and her husband Thomas, also 38: The Warrington couple who previously told MailOnline they had sold the container are understood to have been held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter. They have been bailed until next month. 

Man, 48, from Northern Ireland: The latest arrest took place at Stansted Airport. The identity of the man has not yet been revealed, but police said he has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and suspicion of manslaughter.  

WANTED: 

British police on Friday asked two other suspects, brothers Ronan and Christopher Hughes, to turn themselves in.

Police say they have already spoke to Ronan Hughes by telephone but want to talk to the two in person.

They are also wanted for manslaughter and trafficking charges. 

It comes as Essex Police revealed on Friday that they now believe all 39 migrants found dead in the refrigerated container are Vietnamese. 

Assistant chief constable Tim Smith said: ‘At this time, we believe the victims are Vietnamese nationals, and we are in contact with the Vietnamese Government.

‘We are in direct contact with a number of families in Vietnam and the UK, and we believe we have identified families for some of the victims whose journey ended in tragedy on our shores.

‘The confirmatory evidence needed to formally present cases to HM Senior Coroner for her consideration has not yet been obtained.

‘This evidence is being gathered across a number of jurisdictions worldwide. As a result, we cannot at this time announce the identity of any of the victims.’

The Vietnamese Embassy in London sent its ‘heartfelt condolences’ to the families of the victims, who were initially believed to be Chinese nationals.

‘The embassy was deeply saddened at the initial findings by the Essex Police that among the victims who lost their lives in the lorry on 23rd October 2019 in Essex, UK, may be Vietnamese nationals,’ it said in a statement.

‘Specific identities of the victims still need to be identified and confirmed by the relevant authorities of Vietnam and UK.

‘We would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims.

‘The Embassy of Vietnam in London will closely co-ordinate with the relevant authorities of Vietnam and UK to support the families of the Vietnamese victims, if any, to bring their loved ones home.’ 

GPS data reveals lorry stopped at a notorious Essex dirt track

Dozens of migrants who died here in Essex (pictured) are believed to be from Vietnam travelling on fake Chinese passports.

Police in Hanoi arrested two people linked to the trafficking plot today

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