Man arrested in relation to Essex lorry deaths

Police in Milan charge 27-year-old with conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration

The 39 Vietnamese migrants, aged between 15 and 44, that were found dead in the back of a trailer in Essex on October 23 in 2019. File photographs: Essex Police/PA Wire

A man has been arrested in Italy in connection with the investigation into the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in a refrigerated container in Essex in 2019.

Essex Police said a 27-year-old man was detained just outside Milan by Italian authorities and the National Crime Agency on Thursday afternoon.

Dragos Damian has been charged with conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence, the force said.

The action was taken under an international arrest warrant.


Essex Police said officers are awaiting details of a court appearance in Italy.

The bodies of the Vietnamese nationals were discovered at an industrial estate in Grays shortly after the container arrived on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium in the early hours of October 23rd, 2019. Four Northern Irish men were sentenced in connection with the deaths last year.

Among the men, women and children were 10 teenagers, two of them 15-year-old boys. – PA