Essex police in a statement said that the 39 people found dead in a refrigerated lorry at Essex were all Vietnamese. The victims found in a lorry at an industrial estate at the southern town of Grays were earlier thought to be Chinese.
Assistant Chief Constable (ACC) Tim Smith said on Friday, "At this time, we believe the victims are Vietnamese and are in contact with the Vietnamese government". He further added, "We are in direct contact with a number of families in Vietnam and in UK, and we believe we have identified families of some of the victims whose journey ended in tragedy on our shores". The 39 victims, of whom 31 were men and 8 were women, are reported to be mostly from provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh.
A 25-year-old Maurice Mo Robinson from Craigavon, Northern Ireland has been charged for manslaughter of 39, conspiracy to traffic people and to assist unlawful immigration along with money laundering. Another man was arrested in Ireland, on Friday. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese police had arrested two and summoned others for questioning, on Friday. The incident has shown light on the illicit human trafficking of poor from Asia, Africa and Middle-east to the West.
Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh took to Twitter to offer his condolences and assured to continue working with the authorities in the UK.
Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesperson Pham Binh Minh took to Twitter and offered condolences and said the concerned authorities in both Vietnam and UK are working in close coordination to come up with relevant information.