A man arrested by the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA) over his alleged involvement in the smuggling of migrants found dead in a lorry in Essex has had his extradition ordered.
The man, known as Ngo Sy Tai, is wanted by Belgian prosecutors who allege he was a member of a criminal network involved in large scale organized people smuggling.
Tai was tracked down by NCA officers to an address in Worcestershire, England where he was apprehended on the evening of December 15 on a European Arrest Warrant.
He is suspected of having been involved in transporting at least ten of the 39 found dead in Essex in October 2019, moving them from a safe house in Anderlecht in taxis to a location near the French/Belgian border before they were put onto the lorry.
After hearing the migrants had died, it is alleged Tai fled Belgium and initially went to Germany before moving to the U.K.
Westminster Magistrates Court have now approved his extradition to Belgium to face trial.
The extradition follows the convictions of seven people in the U.K. for their roles in the events which led to the Essex deaths, including four men who were found guilty of manslaughter. The seven were given jail terms totalling more than 92 years in January 2021.