London, Nov 9 (IANS) The names of all the 39 Vietnamese nationals, who were found dead in a refrigerated lorry in the UK’s Essex county on October 23, have been released by police.
“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,” the BBC quoted Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith as saying on Friday.
“Our priority has been to identify the victims, to preserve the dignity of those who have died and to support the victims’ friends and families,” he added.
The process of identifying those who died in the container took over two weeks.
An Identification Commission, overseen by the coroner for Essex, used fingerprints, DNA, dental records and distinctive body markings such as tattoos and scars to confirm the victims’ names.
Most of those who died were in their 20s and 30s; there were 10 teenagers; and two were in their early 40s. Eight were women.
All the victims came from central or northern Vietnam.
The police said that the authorities were now discussing arrangements for the bodies to be repatriated.
The truck in which the victims were found had travelled from the port of Purfleet in east London, where it had arrived from the port-city of Zeebrugge in Belgium.
The cabin driver, a 25-year-old Norwegian named Maurice Robinson, appeared before a British court charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and other crimes.
Two others have also appeared in a Dublin court for their alleged relationship to the crime.
Vietnamese police have also detained 11 people in the Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces in recent days allegedly linked to the trafficking of the victims from Vietnam to Europe.
It is thought some of the migrants had paid up to $40,000 to travel to the UK.