All 39 victims found dead in UK truck were Vietnamese: police
All 39 bodies found in a refrigerated truck outside London last month have now been identified as citizens of Vietnam, British police and Vietnamese officials said on Thursday.
The Vietnamese embassy in London said it was "in deep sorrow" over the confirmation that the 31 men and eight women discovered dead in the back of a truck on October 23 were from the southeast Asian country.
"Once again, we would like to convey our profound condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families," it said in a statement.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson stands with Chief Constable of Essex Police, Ben-Julian Harrington (R), after they laid flowers, during a visit to Thurrock Council Offices in Thurrock, east of London on October 28, 2019, following the October 23, 2019, discovery of 39 bodies concealed in a lorry. [Photo: AFP/POOL/Stefan Rousseau]
It added that its staff and a Vietnamese government delegation would "provide consular protection and support for the bereaved families in order to bring their loved ones home at the earliest time".
Essex Police, the local force investigating the gruesome discovery, confirmed that the victims' families had been informed, without making further comment.
The victims were found in the early hours of October 23 on a truck that had entered Britain on a ferry from Belgium.
In this photo taken on October 23, 2019, a police officer secures the cordon at the scene where a lorry, found to be containing 39 dead bodies, was discovered at Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, east of London. [Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall]
Essex Police had initially said the victims were believed to be Chinese nationals, until several Vietnamese families came forward to say they feared their relatives were on board.
Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security also confirmed Thursday that all 39 were from the country, noting they hailed from six provinces.
Police in Britain have charged the 25-year-old driver of the refrigerated lorry, from Northern Ireland, with manslaughter, money laundering and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.
They are also in the process of extraditing another suspect from Ireland and searching for others potentially involved.
Vietnam has held 11 people in connection with the deaths for helping people travel abroad with the intention of staying overseas illegally. None have been formally charged.