Belgium requests extradition of suspect in Essex lorry deaths

28th Jan 2021

A Vietnamese man, arrested in December 2020 on an EAW issued by a Brussels court, was brought before Westminster Magistrates’ Court this month to commence extradition proceedings against him. Hung Sy Truong, also known as Mr Tai, is wanted in connection with the transport of Vietnamese migrants from a safe house in Brussels to Bierne in France where they boarded a sealed lorry container and were transported onward to Essex. The migrants alleged to have been transported by Mr Tai, along with 29 others, suffocated and died in the course of the journey.

Earlier this month, six men were sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to terms ranging from 3 to 27 years’ imprisonment after variously pleading guilty or being convicted of participation in a conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration and related offences. Three of the men were extradited to the UK to face charges: Eamon Harrison and Ronan Hughes, from the Republic of Ireland, and Gheorghe Nica, from Germany. The NCA has indicated that the investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are expected.

Upon learning of the deaths in October 2019, Mr Tai fled Brussels for Berlin before his eventual arrest in Worcestershire. His extradition hearing is scheduled to begin on 12 March 2021, when issues, including a dispute as to his age, will be considered.

To see our coverage of earlier extraditions relating to this case please click here.

Jasvinder Nakhwal
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7753

Nick Vamos
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7822 7776