Published: Thu, November 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

All UK truck container death victims identified

All UK truck container death victims identified

The UK police have formally identified all 39 migrants who were recently found frozen to death in a truck container in the United Kingdom's southeast county of Essex, the police said.

The Vietnamese government strongly condemns acts of trafficking and calls on countries in the region and the world to step up cooperation, and resolutely prevent and combat this particularly risky crime so as not to repeat the same tragedies, and complete investigations soon and bring the criminals to justice.

All 39 have been formally identified by Her Majesty's Senior Coroner Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray and their families have been told.

"This is an important step in the investigation and enables us to work with our Vietnamese police colleagues to support the families of those victims", said Essex Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith.

Essex Police said it continues to lead the investigation, working with the National Crime Agency and with European Law Enforcement colleagues. "Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those whose tragic journey ended on our shores".

The tragic case has exposed the deadly risks of migration to Europe, with Vietnamese nationals among the many who try to reach the continent illicitly on unsafe journeys.

The bodies were found in the early hours of October 23 on a truck that had just entered Britain on a ferry from Belgium.

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The victims came from six provinces - Haiphong, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Hue - Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

The routes across Europe can be extremely risky, particularly the final leg to the United Kingdom where many migrants are hidden inside trucks, increasingly hard-sided refrigerated compartments which are not checked as rigorously as soft-sided good vehicles.

"This is the pain of not only the victims' families but also the entire community and of each Vietnamese and people around the world", he wrote in the message.

In his letter, the Vietnamese prime minister called for more global cooperation "to eliminate this especially risky crime. and seriously punish the criminals".

British police have charged 25-year-old Maurice Robinson from Northern Ireland with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.

So far, two people have been charged in the UK.

Another Northern Irishman, Eamon Harrison, has been charged with manslaughter and human trafficking offences while police are still hunting for brothers Ronan and Christopher Hughes, both from Co. Essex Police said they have started extradition proceedings to bring him to the face charges of manslaughter in the case.

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