The Vietnamese government will soon provide information for the press about the case in which 39 people were found dead in a refrigerated lorry in Essex, the UK last month, a foreign ministry spokesperson has said.
Vietnamese and British authorities have been working closely to verify the identities of the victims, said Ngo Toan Thang, deputy spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), said at a regular press meeting on Thursday.
|Ngo Toan Thang, deputy spokesperson of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: MOFA|
Essex police on November 1 announced that they believed the dead found in the refrigerated lorry on October 23 in the country were Vietnamese nationals.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung last weekend led an interdisciplinary team to the UK to work with relevant authorities on the case.
Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son was quoted by Zing News as saying that later on November 7 or November 8 at the latest the identities of the 39 victims will be confirmed.
“The two governments are discussing how to repatriate the corpses,” Son told reporters on Thursday.
Police in Nghe An province, central Vietnam, the hometown of many alleged victims have launched a probe into illegal migration. Nine have been detained, Thang from the MOFA informed.
At the press meeting on Thursday morning, Le Xuan Hoai, deputy police chief in Nghe An province, informed that 21 families in the province have so far reported that they had lost contact with their children since October 23.
Provincial police had taken ADN samples from the relatives for the identification of the victims. The corpses, if confirmed, will be handed over to their families at a Hanoi airport for later burial, Hoai said.