Romanian man, 28, is arrested by Italian police over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex
- Stefan Damian Dragos allegedly provided the truck used to smuggle the victims
- The 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in a trailer in October 2019
- He was arrested in Italy after UK police issued an international arrest warrant
- UK authorities want to question Dragos on suspicion of manslaughter
Italian police said on Saturday they had arrested a Romanian citizen who is the subject of an international arrest warrant from the UK for the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese people who were being smuggled into Britain.
Stefan Damian Dragos, 28, allegedly provided the truck which was used to smuggle the group of migrants, who were found dead in a freight container on the back of the vehicle in October 2019, Italian police said in a statement.
There was no immediate statement from the suspect or from any lawyer representing him. He was arrested in the town of Cinisello Balsamo, north of Milan, but police gave no further details.
Italian police arrested Stefan Damian Dragos, 28, on suspicion of being involved in the attempt to smuggle 39 Vietnamese migrants into the UK
He was arrested in the town of Cinisello Balsamo, north of Milan and faces extradition to the UK where police want to question him in connection with the 39 deaths
The discovery of so many dead people – two as young as 15 – in the back of the truck on an industrial estate to the east of London shocked Britain and Vietnam.
It also shone a spotlight on the illicit global trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.
Most of those who died were from Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces in north-central Vietnam, where poor job prospects, environmental disasters and the promise of financial reward abroad fuel migration.
In January four men who admitted or were found guilty of manslaughter and immigration offences were given long jail sentences.