Man denies smuggling 39 Vietnamese migrants who died into UK
‘Human trafficker’ denies helping smuggle 39 Vietnamese migrants into UK who died in back of refrigerated lorry
- Gazmir Nuzi, 43, denied one count of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration
- Irishman Ronan Hughes, 40, made first appearance in court after he was extradited on Wednesday
- The bodies of the Vietnamese nationals were discovered in Essex on October 23
An alleged human trafficker has denied that he helped smuggle 39 Vietnamese migrants into the UK who died in the back of a refrigerated lorry.
Six people charged over the deaths of the 39 migrants appeared at the Old Bailey today.
Gazmir Nuzi, 43, was allegedly part of an international gang ferrying non-EU citizens into the country.
He appeared at the Old Bailey on video link and denied one count of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.
Six people charged over the deaths of the 39 migrants who were found in a lorry in Essex (pictured) in October appeared at the Old Bailey today
Also appearing at the Old Bailey, for the first time, today was Eamonn Harrison, 23, who is accused of driving the trailer to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before it sailed to Purfleet in England.
He is charged alongside Ronan Hughes, 40, with causing the 39 deaths and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.
Christopher Kennedy, 23, has denied conspiring to commit human trafficking and assisting unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019.
All three spoke only to confirm their names.
Two other people, Gheorghe Nica and Valentin Colota also made an appearance at the Old Bailey.
The victims had died up to 12 hours before driver Maurice Robinson (pictured), 25, hitched it to his Scania cab in Essex
Truck driver Maurice Robinson, 25, has admitted killing eight women and 31 men found in the back of his lorry on an industrial estate near Grays, Essex, on October 23.
The victims have been identified as coming from various provinces of Vietnam with the youngest being two boys aged 15.
The discovery was made shortly after the container arrived in Purfleet, having travelled 173 miles from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, said: ‘There are three trips in particular that comprise the substantive part of that conspiracy.
‘There are the events were sadly 39 people were found dead and there are two further trips where Mr Kennedy was the driver and it is one of those trips which Mr Nuzi was in.
‘The lorry would arrive at Purfleet docks were a trailer would be waiting.
That would be driven to Collingwood Farm.
It is not a built-up area, it is near a golf course.’
Pham Tra My, 26, has been confirmed as among the 39 people who died in a lorry in Essex
Fifteen-year-old Nguyen Huy Hung (left) was the youngest of the group, 10 of whom were teenagers. Nguyen Dinh Lurong, 20, (right) was also named among those who died
The Old Bailey heard prosecutors claim there would be a fleet of vehicles waiting for the migrants at the site.
Gheorghe Nica, 43, denies the manslaughter offences and faces a trial expected to last between six to eight weeks starting on 15 October at the Old Bailey.
He also denies a count of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019.
Kennedy, of Corkley Road, Armagh, Northern Ireland, denies assisting unlawful immigration and conspiring to commit a human trafficking offence.
Robinson, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, has admitted 39 counts of manslaughter but denies transferring criminal property.
He has also admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property.
Nica, of Mimosa Close, Langdon Hills, Basildon, Essex, denies 39 counts of manslaughter and one of conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.
Alexandru Hanga, 28, of Hobart Road, Tilbury, has admitted conspiring to assist unlawful immigration.
Valentin Calota, 37, of Cossington Road, Birmingham is yet to enter any pleas to a charge of conspiring to smuggle non-EU nationals into the UK, contrary to immigration law, between May 1 2018 and October 24 2019.
Harrison, 23, from Mayobridge, County Down, is charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration along with Hughes, from County Armagh in the Republic of Ireland.
Who were the 39 people who died in the Essex lorry container?
These are the names of the victims of the Essex truck tragedy are:
Pham Thi Tra My, a 26-year-old woman from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Dinh Lurong, a 20-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Huy Phong, a 35-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Vo Nhan Du, a 19-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Tran Manh Hung, a 37-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Tran Khanh Tho, a 18-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Vo Van Linh, a 25-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Van Nhan, a 33-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Bui Phan Thang, a 37-year-old man from Ha Tinh
Nguyen Huy Hung, a 15-year-old boy from Ha Tinh
Tran Thi Tho, a 21-year-old woman from Nghe An
Bui Thi Nhung, a 19-year-old woman from Nghe An
Vo Ngoc Nam, a 28-year-old man from Nghe An
Nguyen Dinh Tu, a 26-year-old man from Nghe An
Le Van Ha, a 30-year-old man from Nghe An
Tran Thi Ngoc, a 19-year-old woman from Nghe An
Nguyen Van Hung, a 33-year-old man from Nghe An
Hoang Van Tiep, a 18-year-old man from Nghe An
Cao Tien Dung, a 37-year-old man from Nghe An
Cao Huy Thanh, a 33-year-old man from Nghe An
Tran Thi Mai Nhung, a 18-year-old woman from Nghe An
Nguyen Minh Quang, a 20-year-old man from Nghe An
Le Trong Thanh, a 44-year-old man from Dien Chau
Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh, a 28-year-old woman from Nghe An
Hoang Van Hoi, a 24-year-old man from Nghe An
Nguyen Tho Tuan, a 25-year-old man from Nghe An
Dang Huu Tuyen, a 22-year-old man from Nghe An
Nguyen Trong Thai, a 26-year-old man from Nghe An
Nguyen Van Hiep, a 24-year-old man from Nghe An
Nguyen Thi Van, a 35-year-old woman from Nghe An
Tran Hai Loc, a 35-year-old man from Nghe An
Duong Minh Tuan, a 27-year-old man from Quang Binh
Nguyen Ngoc Ha, a 32-year-old man from Quang Binh
Nguyen Tien Dung, a 33-year-old man from Quang, Binh
Phan Thi Thanh, a 41-year-old woman from Hai Phong
Nguyen Ba Vu Hung, a 34-year-old man from Thua Tien Hue
Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen, a 18-year-old man from Hai Phong
Tran Ngoc Hieu, a 17-year-old boy from Hai Duong
Dinh Dinh Binh, a 15-year-old boy from Hai Phong