The 39 bodies found last month in a refrigerated truck in an industrial estate in Essex (east of England) have already been identified and are all of Vietnamese origin, British Police confirmed Thursday.
In a statement, the Essex Police in charge of the investigation indicated that the relatives of the victims have already been informed – 31 men and 8 women – found inside the refrigerating chamber of the vehicle, in the town of Grays.
The Vietnam authorities also claimed that the victims were of that nationality and specified the provinces from which they came: Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien and Hue.
In a note, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security added that the victims have been identified with the help of the British Police and expressed their condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased.
The announcement was made after a Vietnamese delegation traveled to the United Kingdom last Saturday to work on the identification of victims.
So far, 35 families in the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, in the north of the country, had denounced the disappearance of relatives and some parents have already received official notification that their children were among the 39 dead in the Essex truck.
To An Xo, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, said in statements collected by the VnExpress website that the date and manner in which the bodies will be repatriated will depend on the British authorities and the desire of the families.
"Some families want their loved ones to be cremated before being taken back, others want the bodies to officiate a traditional funeral. This must be treated with care," he said.
The Vietnamese Police have arrested eleven people in the provinces of Ha Tinh and Nghe An in recent days, allegedly linked to the trafficking of victims from Vietnam to Europe, who would have paid up to $ 40,000 for traveling irregularly to the United Kingdom.
As stated in a statement the British inspector in charge of the investigations, Tim Smith, identification "is an important step in the investigation and allows us to work with our colleagues in the Vietnamese Police in order to support the families of the victims."
If the researchers initially indicated that the dead were "of Chinese origin," they later retracted and considered the possibility of them being Vietnamese.
Smith added that, before disclosing "new information" about the case, "the right thing is to give family members the opportunity to assimilate the news of the confirmation of the death of their loved ones."
This event shocked the United Kingdom and reopened the debate about the dangers posed by mafias that traffic with people and the need to strengthen ports.
The truck in which the deceased were found last October 23 had traveled from the port of Purfleet, where it had arrived from that of Zeebrugge, in Belgium.
The cab driver, the 25-year-old Norwegian Maurice Robinson, appeared before a British court, charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and other crimes, while two others have also responded to a Dublin court for his alleged relationship with the acts.
. (tagsToTranslate) dead (t) found (t) truck (t) Essex (t) Vietnamese