The UK police on Friday, November 8, released names of the Vietnamese nationals whose bodies were found in a refrigerated truck in southern England last month. It may be noted that several Vietnamese families had come forward with reports of missing relatives in the aftermath of the tragic incident. Police have said they are in touch with the Vietnamese authorities on the issue of repatriating the bodies.
"This was an incredibly important process and our team has been working hard to bring answers to worried families who fear their loved one may be among those whose tragic journey ended on our shores", Sputnik quoted Tim Smith, the assistant chief constable of Essex Police, as saying.
Bodies of 31 men and eight women were found from inside a truck at an industrial park in Grays, a town located 40 kilometres east of London, UK. Five suspects, including the truck driver, were arrested in connection with the incident, and three were later released on bail.
On November 8, the UK police confirmed that the 39 dead bodies found in the back of a lorry in Essex were all Vietnamese nationals. The Essex police said that the families of the victims have also been informed. The Vietnamese police have reportedly arrested eight people in relation to the case of frozen bodies found in the lorry in Essex on October 25. The senior officer in charge of the investigation, Tim Smith also said it is an important step in the inquiry which enables both the UK police and the Vietnamese police to work together and support the families of the victims. The police authorities had said earlier this week that the victims might be Vietnamese after presuming that they were Chinese.
The 22-year-old suspect Eamonn Harrison faces 41 charges, including 39 manslaughter charges, conspiracy to commit human trafficking and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration, after the endorsement of a European arrest warrant. He appeared at the court in Dublin on November 1. DS Jim Kirwan of the garda’s extradition unit told the court that he is the suspect of delivering the trailer to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge before its onward journey to England as CCTV footage from a truck stop in Veurne, Belgium, showed him to be the driver of the lorry that later deposited the trailer. Harrison was arrested at Dublin last week and is to face an extradition hearing later this month.
(with ANI inputs)