Essex lorry deaths people-smuggling 'ringleader' jailed over deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants
Eighteen people have been convicted in Europe over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants, whose bodies were found in a lorry container in Essex.
A court in Bruges convicted the Vietnamese "ringleader" and other members of the group involved in the people smuggling operation.
The victims, between the ages of 15 and 44, were found in Grays, Essex, on October 23, 2019, inside the refrigerated container of a lorry that had arrived by ferry from Belgium.
UK courts had already found a Northern Irish truck driver Romanian mechanic and guilty over the deaths.
The Bruges correctional court found what it called a Vietnamese ringleader in Belgium guilty and imposed a 15-year jail term during a hearing on Wednesday.
Others were given one to 10-year sentences while five were found not guilty.
It was still unclear if they would appeal the sentence.