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The ringleaders of a people-smuggling group who were convicted for the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a lorry in England in 2019 were on Friday sentenced to decades in prison.

A court ruled on Friday on Gheorghe Nica, 43, from Essex, east of England and Haulier boss Ronan Hughes, 41, of Armagh, who were identified as the ringleaders.

Nica was sentenced to 27 years, while Hughes got 20 years.

The two lorry drivers were also sentenced: Maurice Robinson, 26, was sentenced to 13 years and four months in jail, while Eamonn Harrison, 23, was sentenced to 18 years.

The sentencing judge, who had previously commented on the victims’ excruciating death, told the men they will serve at least two-thirds of their sentences in custody, as opposed to the more usual 50 per cent.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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