All 39 people found dead in Essex lorry identified as Vietnamese


British Police have formally identified the 39 Vietnamese who were found dead in the back of a lorry in Essex last month.

The police said the families of those found dead in the refrigerated lorry trailer in Grays last month had been informed.

Caroline Beasley-Murray, the coroner, said: “May I take this opportunity to offer my deepest condolences to the victims’ families.”

The senior officer in charge of the inquiry, Tim Smith, an assistant chief constable, said: “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.

“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.”

Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people in relation to the case. Although local authorities did not reveal their identities, they are suspected of being part of a ring responsible for smuggling Vietnamese people to Britain.

The Vietnamese government has strongly condemned human trafficking and described the deaths as a “serious humanitarian tragedy”.

Nguyen HuuCau, the NgheAn province police chief, said: “Based on what we learn from the suspects, we will actively launch investigations to fight and eradicate these rings which bring people illegally to Britain.

“The best thing to do now is to deal with the consequences of the incident and help family members receive the bodies.”

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

Essex police have started extradition proceedings to bring Eamonn Harrison, 22, from Ireland to the UK.

Harrison, of Newry, Northern Ireland, appeared at Dublin high court last Friday charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, along with human trafficking and immigration offences, and was remanded in custody.

The driver of the lorry, Mo Robinson, 25, appeared at Chelmsford magistrates court on October 28 charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering. (Source: The Guardian)