Hunting the Essex Lorry Killers on BBC Two relives the horrific death of migrants in a refrigerated trailer in 2019 – but where is driver Maurice Robinson now?
Has the smuggler’s ring been set?
And how many victims died?
Here’s everything you need to know about the BBC Two documentary.
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Chasing the Essex Truck Killers on BBC Two – what’s it about?
The one-off documentary reveals how Essex Police are investigating migrant deaths.
In October 2019, police found their bodies in the trailer of a semi-trailer.
The film shows how detectives broke up an international smuggling ring between Great Britain, Europe and Vietnam.
The documentary also travels to Vietnam to meet the families of some of the deceased.
Most of all, the film takes the time to name the victims, show their faces and tell their stories.
How many people died in trucks in Essex?
Tragically, in October 2019, the driver discovered that 39 people had died in the truck’s trailer.
They were all Vietnamese migrants aged 15 to 44 who had dreamed of a better life in the UK.
Among the dead were 31 men and eight women – and 10 of the victims were teenagers.
The two youngest were 15 year old boys.
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Where is Maurice Robinson now? How did the victims die?
In February 2020, Essex Police announced that the autopsies indicated a combination of hypoxia and hyperthermia as the preliminary causes of death.
Ambulance said all 39 people were dead before it arrived.
A judge said the migrants died “in excruciating pain” after suffocating in the container.
The migrants were trapped in the container for at least 12 hours when it was shipped from Belgium to Purfleet in Essex.
Prosecutors said temperatures hit an “unbearable” 38.5 ° C.
The victims tried to break through the roof with a metal rod, but could only push in the inside.
Who drove the truck in which 39 people died?
The driver of the truck was Maurice Robinson, 29, from Co Armagh, Northern Ireland.
At the time of death, his partner was pregnant.
First, in October 2019, he opened the sealed container in Grays, Essex and found that the Vietnamese migrants had all suffocated.
He called Essex ambulance and said he found 39 bodies in the back of his truck.
Upon arrival at the scene, the first responders saw that the driver did not seem upset.
The police soon connected him to a global gang of people smugglers.
Where is Maurice Robinson now?
Maurice’s attorney told the Old Bailey that he was “appalled by what he saw”.
He pleaded guilty to 39 manslaughter cases at the Old Bailey in April 2020.
Maurice also admitted money laundering.
In January 2021, a judge sentenced Maurice to 13 years and four months in prison.
Where is Maurice Robinson now? Has the smuggler’s ring been set?
Maurice Robinson was one of eight men convicted of their roles in the people smuggling operation since May 2018.
Boss Ronan Hughes, 41, and Gheorghe Nica, 43, played “lead roles” in the plot.
They were then sentenced to 20 and 27 years in prison, respectively.
Eamonn Harrison, 24, from County Down had transported the migrants and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Three other members of the gang were also convicted.
Christopher Kennedy, 24, from County Armagh was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Valentin Calota, 38, from Birmingham, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
Finally, Alexandru-Ovidiu Hanga, 28, from Essex, was sentenced to three years in prison.
Hunting the Essex Lorry Killers will air on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 9 p.m. on BBC Two.
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