A lorry driver accused over the deaths of 39 migrants has admitted
to plotting to assist illegal immigration.

Maurice Robinson, 25, who was allegedly part of a global smuggling ring,
is charged with the manslaughter of a group of men, women and children
found dead in a refrigerated trailer.

The bodies of eight females and 31 males were discovered in the trailer
attached to his Scania cab in an industrial park in Grays, early
on October 23.

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The victims were later identified as coming from various provinces of
Vietnam, with the youngest being two boys aged 15.

Robinson, who is known as Mo, appeared at the Old Bailey via video link
from Belmarsh prison for a plea hearing.

Wearing a light blue sweater and tan trousers, he spoke to confirm his
identity and British nationality.

During the hearing before Mr Justice Edis, he admitted conspiracy to
assist unlawful 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 acquiring criminal property - namely cash - on the same
dates and transferring criminal property.

Robinson, of Laurel Drive in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, was not
asked to enter pleas to other charges, including 39 counts of

He was remanded into custody until a further hearing on December 13.