Making news

Essex lorry deaths: Man ordered to pay compensation to victims’ families

A Romanian national linked to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex, the UK is to pay 3,000 GBP in compensation to their families.

Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 29, admitted conspiring to assist unlawful immigration in 2020 and was sentenced to three years in jail. He made 83,552 GBP from crime but prosecutor Johnathan Polnay said just 3,000 GBP was available for confiscation. The fund will be used to compensate the victims’ families for funeral expenses and bereavement.

Hanga collected a number of migrants from a drop-off point in Essex and drove them to a safe house in Dulwich, south-east London, a few weeks before the tragedy.

In his sentencing, judge Justice Sweeney had noted Hanga had shown "genuine remorse.”

On October 23, 2019, bodies of 39 Vietnamese were discovered in the back of a refrigerated lorry at an industrial estate in Grays in Essex, near London, not far from the ferry terminal where the truck had arrived from Belgium.

Autopsies concluded that the provisional cause of death of the victims was a combination of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, and hyperthermia, or overheating, in an enclosed space.

Four people-smugglers were sentenced by the Old Bailey Court in London to a combined 78 years in jail for 39 counts of manslaughter and a people-smuggling conspiracy on January 22 this year./