Christopher Hughes (left) and Ronan Hughes are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking. PIC Esses Police

TWO brothers from Northern Ireland are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter over 39 people found dead in a lorry in Essex.

Ronan Hughes, 40, and Christopher Hughes, 34, from Armagh in Northern Ireland, are also wanted by police on suspicion of human trafficking.

The 39 bodies were found in the lorry trailer on an industrial estate in Grays on Wednesday.

Police believe the Hughes brothers are in Northern Ireland but say they have links to the Republic of Ireland.

The driver of the lorry, Maurice Robinson, also from Northern Ireland, appeared in court on Monday charged with a string of offences, including 39 counts of manslaughter.

Det Ch Supt Stuart Hooper said: “Finding and speaking to the Hughes brothers is crucial to our investigation.

“This is a case where 39 men and women have tragically died and support from the community is going to be vital to help bring those responsible to justice.”

It is understood that the Hughes brothers are originally from Co Monaghan but have at least one business address in Northern Ireland.

Essex Police said Ronan Hughes also goes by the name Rowan.

The force asked for anyone with information about the brothers’ whereabouts to contact officers.

Three other people arrested – a 38 year-old man, a 38 year-old woman, and a 46 year-old man – have all been released on bail.

Truck driver Mo Robinson charged with manslaughter over deaths of 39 people in trailer

Another driver, who is suspected of bringing the container to Zeebrugge before it crossed the Channel, was arrested at the port of Dublin on Saturday on unrelated charges.

Gardai, who are liaising with their Essex counterparts, said the man was the driver of a blue truck seized as part of the ongoing investigations into the 39 deaths.

Police initially believed the 31 men and eight women discovered dead in the refrigerated container in the early hours of Wednesday morning were Chinese.

But a number of Vietnamese families have come forward fearing their loved ones are among the dead.

Pham Thi Tra My, 26, sent her family a message on Tuesday night, saying her “trip to a foreign land has failed”.

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