The migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck in the United Kingdom in 2019.
Police in Italy say they have arrested a man wanted by Britain in connection with a people-smuggling plot that led to the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in 2019.
Authorities detained Stefan D., a Romanian national, on Saturday in the town of Cinisello Balsamo, near the north Italian city of Milan.
He was detained on a UK arrest warrant and is thought to "belong to a criminal organization dedicated to illegal immigration," a police statement said.
What happened in the case?
The bodies of the eight women and 31 men were found on October 23 in 2019, on an industrial estate in the town of Grays in the English county of Essex.
The container in which they were held had arrived by ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
An investigation found that the cooling system had been shut off, leaving the migrants to endure scorching temperatures in the airtight container, causing them to slowly and painfully suffocate to death inside.
The case sparked an international outcry and a police investigation.
Several involved jailed so far
Earlier this year, a UK court sentenced two men, Ronan Hughes and Gheorghe Nica, identified as ringleaders of the smuggling group, to 20 years and 27 years respectively.
Truck drivers Maurice Robinson and Eamonn Harrison were also given 13-year and 18-year sentences.
Three other men involved in the group were also handed shorter prison terms from three to seven years.
kmm/mm (dpa, Reuters, AFP)
First published: June 13, 2021
Editor's note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.