Vietnam police confirm all 39 United Kingdom truck death victims were Vietnamese

Cheryl Sanders
November 8, 2019

On late November 7, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and UK police affirmed that all 39 victims found dead in a container truck in Essex, the northeast of London, UK on October 23, are Vietnamese.

But on Thursday, it was confirmed at a briefing at the Embassy of Vietnam in London the migrants had "permanent residence" in Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien-Hue.

Officers had been working with Vietnamese authorities in their efforts to identify the victims.

The Vietnamese government cooperated with United Kingdom local police to identify the bodies.

The force said it wanted to give families time to take in the news before making the names public.

A series of files were brought before an Identification Commission, and Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray has now formally identified all of the victims.

The container was picked up at Purfleet dock, east of London and police originally said the victims were believed to be Chinese.

He added "it is only right that we provide an opportunity for family members to take in the news confirming the death of their loved ones before releasing any further information".

The Essex police also worked with National Crime Agency and European law enforcement officials to identify the bodies in the lorry.

Vietnam has held 11 people in connection with the deaths for helping people travel abroad with the intention of staying overseas illegally.

Meanwhile police in Britain have charged the 25-year-old driver of the refrigerated lorry, who comes from Northern Ireland, with manslaughter, money laundering and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people in relation to the case.

Some families accept to receive the ashes after cremation while others want to have the bodies for traditional funeral procedures, Xo said.

Essex Police have started extradition proceedings to bring 22-year-old Eamonn Harrison from Ireland to the UK. "Vietnam calls upon countries in the region and around the world to step up cooperation in combating human trafficking in order to prevent the recurrence of such tragedy".

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