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Lorry driver charged with 39 counts of manslaughter: UK polic

LONDON, Oct. 26 -- The UK police said on Saturday that they are authorised to charge the lorry driver in connection with the investigation into the deaths of 39 people whose bodies were found in Essex.

The police said in a statement that Maurice Robinson, 25, from Northern Ireland, was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park.

"He is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday 28 October charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering," it read.

Three other people have been arrested in Britain in connection with this investigation.

A 38-year-old man and 38-year-old woman from Warrington as well as a 48-year-old man from Northern Ireland, who were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter, remain in custody, said UK police.

Irish media reported on Saturday that a man from Northern Ireland was arrested in Dublin in connection with the investigation into the deaths of 39 people. The report quoted police sources, although Irish police has not issued any statement regarding the arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore, who is in charge of identifying the 39 bodies, told reporters on Saturday the 39 people's nationalities are not yet known but the focus is now on the Vietnamese community, although "there may be other nationalities involved."

He said he had met with Vietnamese ambassador to Britain to seek assistance with fingerprint records.

There were "very, very few" identity documents recovered and British police want help from the Vietnamese community in Britain and abroad to identify the 39 people found dead in the lorry, he added.

Pasmore said his colleagues were keeping an open mind about whether the dead were victims of a wider human trafficking conspiracy. 

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