Maurice Robinson, known as Mo, has pleaded guilty to conspiring in assisting illegal immigration

The lorry driver accused over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants last month has admitted to being part of a global smuggling ring.

During a hearing at the Old Bailey today, Maurice Robinson, known as Mo, 25, pleaded guilty to a charge of plotting to assist illegal immigration between May 1 2018 and October 24 2019.

The charge states that he plotted with others to do ‘an act or series of acts which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law by various persons.’

He also admitted to one count of money laundering.

He faces separate manslaughter charges over the deaths of all those on board the lorry but will not enter a plea over these until next month.

Robinson, from Craigvaon, County Armagh, in Northern Ireland, was first to be arrested after 31 men and eight women were found dead in the back of his truck on an industrial estate in Grays, Essex, on October 23.

A previous hearing was told police are investigating a “global ring facilitating movement of a large number of illegal immigrants into the UK.”

The bodies were discovered in his refrigerated lorry trailer at Waterglade Industrial Park. Ten teenagers, including two 15-year-old boys, were among the victims, all of them Vietnamese.

Robinson appeared at the Old Bailey via video link from Belmarsh prison. He was remanded in custody until the next hearing on December 13.



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Written by

Shirin Aguiar


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