Two brothers are wanted for questioning in connection with the deaths of 39 people, whose bodies were discovered in the back of a lorry in Grays last week.

Police discovered 39 bodies in the back of a lorry from Belgium in the Waterglade Industrial Park on Wednesday, October 23.

The lorry driver, Maurice Robinson, of Laurel Drive, Craigavon, Northern Ireland, appeared in court on Monday charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people and other charges.

Ronan Hughes, 40, and Christopher Hughes, 34, from Armagh in Northern Ireland, are wanted by police on suspicion of human trafficking.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Ronan Hughes. Photo: Essex Police

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Hooper, who is leading the investigation, said: “Finding and speaking to the Hughes brothers is crucial to our investigation.

“At this time we believe they are in Northern Ireland but they also have links to the Irish Republic.

“If you know where they are or have any information about their whereabouts I need you to call my team.

“This is a case where 39 men and women have tragically died and support from the community is going to be vital to help bring those responsible to justice.

Epping Forest Guardian:

Christopher Hughes. Photo: Essex Police

“You may think the piece of information might be insignificant but even the smallest detail could be vital so please contact my officers on 101 or online at:

“I appreciate you may not want to speak to the police so you can also contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Robinson has been remanded to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday, November 25.

Three other people arrested – a 38-year-old man, a 38-year-old woman, and a 46-year-old man – have all been released on bail until November.