A Northern Irish man, Maurice Robinson, who was charged over the Essex truck deaths incident has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property.
Robinson, 25, who is being held at Belmarsh Prison, appeared in court by video link, Reuters said. He did not plead guilty to 41 other charges, including 39 counts of manslaughter. No trial date was set and Robinson is next due in court on 13 December.
On 23 October, 39 frozen bodies were found by Essex police in a truck that had arrived in the UK from Belgium. First, the victims were believed to be from China but later were identified as Vietnamese nationals. Among the victims were 31 men and boys and eight women, the oldest victim was 44 and three were under the age of 18.
Several people were detained in connection with the case, including 23-year-old Christopher Kennedy from Northern Ireland, who was charged with human trafficking and conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of UK immigration law. He is also due to appear in court later in the day.