Essex lorry deaths: All 39 victims were from Vietnam, officials say

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Police in the United Kingdom say they have identified all 39 people whose bodies were discovered in a lorry in Essex last month. Vietnam calls on countries in the region and the world to continue strengthening cooperation to prevent and crack down on this type of crime, prevent similar occurrences, and early conclude investigation to punish offenders.

A series of files have been handed to Essex senior coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray.

Beasley-Murray said that the identification of the victims was a very important step in the investigation since it enabled the United Kingdom police to work with Vietnamese colleagues to support the families of the victims.

It came as British police confirmed that those discovered in the refrigerated truck on October 23 all came from the southeast Asian nation. "Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those whose tragic journey ended on our shores".

The Ministry of Public Security said the victims were from Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien - Hue.

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 risky journeys.

The bodies were found on the Waterglade Industrial Estate after the container had travelled to nearby Purfleet from Zeebrugge, in Belgium.

Mrs Beasley-Murray said: "May I take this opportunity to offer my deepest condolences to the victims" families'.

Charities and experts say that many migrants are subject to labour exploitation on their routes westwards and in Britain - especially women and minors.

Essex Police have been working with Vietnamese police officers to present cases to Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for Essex to verify the identities of the dead.

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

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. He also thanked the United Kingdom people, the overseas Vietnamese in the United Kingdom and the world for expressing sympathy for the victims.

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 have started extradition proceedings to bring 22-year-old Eamonn Harrison from Ireland to the UK.

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