All the 39 people found dead in the back of a truck in England last month are believed to be Vietnamese nationals, Essex Police said in a statement on Friday.
“At this time, we believe the victims are Vietnamese nationals, and we are in contact with the Vietnamese Government,” Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith said.
He added that police were in “direct contact with a number of families in Vietnam and the UK, and we believe we have identified families for some of the victims whose journey ended in tragedy on our shores.”
Meanwhile, the Vietnamese police arrested two suspects in connection to the deaths, who will be prosecuted in connection to missing persons from 10 different families in the area.
The latest development comes a week after 39 people were found dead in the back of a refrigerated lorry in a UK industrial park in Grays, Essex, 20 miles east of London.
Earlier, Essex Police believed that the people found dead were Chinese nationals “based on the documentation found on them.”
The Vietnamese Embassy in London said it was “deeply saddened” at the police’s initial findings and that it sends its “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims.
The embassy added that it will “closely co-ordinate with the relevant authorities of Vietnam and [the] UK to support the families of the Vietnamese victims, if any, to bring their loved ones home.”