Police have raided properties in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, after 39 Chinese nationals were found dead in a refrigerated trailer in Essex.
Authorities are still questioning the driver of the lorry, Mo Robinson on suspicion of murdering the 8 women and 31 men.
The main trailer arrived in Purfleet on the River Thames from Zeebrugge in Belgium and Mo Robinson entered the UK via Holyhead in Wales on Sunday, having traveled from Dublin with the front part of the lorry.
The refrigerated lorry left Purfleet shortly after 1pm before the bodies were discovered at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays just after 1.30pm on Wednesday.
Essex Police escorted the lorry to a secure site at Tilbury Docks for further investigations. They said it was the largest murder investigation in the force’s history and the victims were all “believed to be Chinese nationals”.
The 39 people, one of whom is a young adult woman, will undergo a full coroner’s process to establish cause of death before identification begins.
The truck is said to be registered in Bulgaria under the name of a company owned by an Irish citizen but it’s not clear when and where the victims were placed in the container. .
The container arrived in Zeebrugge at 14:29 on Tuesday and left the port later that afternoon before arriving in Purfleet in the early hours of Wednesday. Temperatures in such refrigerated trailers could be as low as -25C.