Essex lorry deaths: Police appeal to Ronan and Christopher Hughes" width="976" height="549">
Christopher, 40, (left) and Ronan Hughes, 34, are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking
Police have appealed directly to two brothers - Ronan and Christopher Hughes - from County Armagh, who are wanted by police on suspicion of manslaughter and people trafficking.Speaking in Belfast, police confirmed they had spoken to Ronan by phone.The bodies of 39 people were found in a lorry container in Essex on 23 October."Ronan and Christopher, hand yourselves in to the Police Service of Northern Ireland," Det Ch Insp Daniel Stoten said."We need you both to come forward and assist this investigation."
He added that speaking to the Hughes brothers was crucial."The sooner we can make this happen, the sooner we can progress with our investigation," he said.
The bodies were discovered in the early hours of 23 October
Det Ch Insp Stoten said the Hughes brothers have links to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the road haulage and shipping industries.He added that the PSNI stopped and seized a lorry on Thursday, believed to be connected to the Hughes brothers.No further arrests were made.The driver of the lorry, Maurice Robinson, appeared in court in Chelmsford on Monday.The 25-year-old, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, is charged with a string of offences, including 39 counts of manslaughter.Prosecutors alleged that Mr Robinson was part of a "global ring" of people smugglers.He was remanded in custody and is due to appear again at the Old Bailey in London later this month.
Who were the victimsPolice initially believed the victims to be Chinese nationals but their efforts to identify them are now focusing on the Vietnamese community.VietHome, an organisation that represents the Vietnamese community in the UK said it had passed on the pictures of almost 20 people who have been reported missing to detectives.The Vietnamese embassy in London has set up a contact line for people to get in touch.
Essex Police
Essex lorry deaths
Police Service of Northern Ireland
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