At first, the police thought that the victims were Chinese, before the families appeared in Vietnam, worried for their relatives.

The World with AFP Posted today at 15h47, updated at 16h11

Time to Reading 1 min.

The Essex police confirmed Thursday [November 7th] that the thirty-nine migrants found dead at the end of October in a refrigerated truck near London were of Vietnamese nationality.

The victims – thirty-one men and eight women – have all been identified. Their families were warned, the police said, refusing to comment further. At first, the police thought that the victims were Chinese, before the families appeared in Vietnam, worried for their relatives.

Read also The discovery of 39 dead bodies in a truck in the UK, macabre illustration of human trafficking

"Deep sadness"

In a statement, the Vietnamese embassy sent Thursday its "Profound sadness regarding the death of thirty-nine Vietnamese in Essex on October 23, 2019", date of the discovery of the bodies. The embassy assured the bereaved families of its support to bring back the remains of their relatives to Vietnam.

Several people were arrested in connection with this case. In the United Kingdom, the driver of the refrigerated truck from Northern Ireland has been charged with manslaughter, money laundering and conspiracy to promote illegal immigration. In Dublin, another Northern Irishman involved in this case appeared before the High Court of Justice in Ireland to initiate extradition proceedings to the United Kingdom. Three other people were arrested and released on bail by the British police.

In Vietnam, 11 people were arrested as part of this investigation. The discovery of the truck had provoked a strong emotion and highlighted the clandestine migratory routes very organized between Vietnam and Europe. The container arrived by ferry at Purfleet Harbor on the Thames from Zeebrugge, Belgium.

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