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Man charged in Italy over 39 lorry deaths in Grays

The lorry was discovered in Grays in October 2019

A man has been charged in Italy in relation to the deaths of 39 people who were discovered in a lorry trailer in Grays, in October 2019.

The migrants, aged between 15 and 44-years-old, suffocated inside the lorry container while travelling from Zeebrugge to Purfleet. 

Dragos Damian was detained by Italian authorities and officers just outside Milan yesterday after an international arrest warrant was carried out.

The 27-year-old was charged with conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence.

Details of his court appearance in Italy are not yet known.

Several others have previously been sentenced.

Last year, lorry driver Eamonn Harrison, 24, from Northern Ireland, and Gheorghe Nica, 44, of Basildon, were found guilty of 39 counts of manslaughter and one count of conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration by a jury at the Old Bailey.

Mr Harrison and Mr Nica were both sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Lorry driver Maurice Robinson, 26, transport fixer Ronan Hughes, 41, and drivers Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 28, and Gazmir Nuzi, 43, have also been jailed after previously pleading guilty to various charges brought against them.

Mr Robinson was sentenced to a total of 13 years and four months and Mr Hughes was given a sentence of 20 years in prison.

Mr Hanga has been sentenced to three years in prison while Mr Nuzi was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, which he had already served.

Christopher Kennedy, 24, and Valentin Calota, 38, were also found guilty for their role in smuggling the migrants into the country.

Mr Kennedy was sentenced to seven years in prison while Mr Calota was given four-and-a-half years in prison for his part.

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