Essex lorry deaths: Man charged with 39 counts of manslaughter appears in court

A man wanted in connection with the deaths of 39 people found in the back of an Essex lorry has appeared in court this morning.

Marius Mihai Draghici is suspected of being part of a conspiracy that led to the deaths of the Vietnamese nationals, whose bodies were discovered in the lorry container on 23 October 2019.

The 49-year-old was detained by police in Romania in August and then extradited to the UK.

It follows the execution of a European Arrest Warrant.

He is now in Essex Police custody and has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration. He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on the morning of Saturday 29 October.

His name, age and date of birth were confirmed during the hearing.

The charges come one week after the third anniversary of the tragic incident.

Temperatures inside the container had reached 38.5C (101.3F) after the migrants paid people smugglers more than £10,000 each to travel to England.

The lorry had travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium to the Port of Purfleet in Essex.

Draghici was remanded in custody until Monday 28 November when he will appear at the Old Bailey.