UK Police cannot announce identity of any of victims now
The scene of the tragedy. Source: Reuters
Assistant chief constable Tim Smith said this evening: 'At this time, we believe the victims are Vietnamese nationals, and we are in contact with the Vietnamese Government.
'We are 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.'
'The confirmatory evidence needed to formally present cases to HM Senior Coroner for her consideration has not yet been obtained.
'This evidence is being gathered across a number of jurisdictions worldwide. As a result, we cannot at this time announce the identity of any of the victims.'
The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK released a statement on late November 1 expressing deep sadness at the initial findings by the Essex police that the victims who lost their lives in the refrigerated lorry on October 23 in Essex, UK, may be Vietnamese nationals.
The statement said specific identities of the victims still need to be identified and confirmed by the relevant authorities of Vietnam and UK.
“We would like to convey our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,” it said, adding that the Embassy of Vietnam in London will closely coordinate with the relevant authorities of Vietnam and UK to support the families of the Vietnamese victims, if any, to bring their loved ones home.
“We strongly condemn the inhuman activities of the traffickers of illegal immigrants that have caused such a tragedy for the victims and their families. Vietnam will work closely with UK to bring the criminals to justice and find effective measures to prevent similar tragedy from happening again in the future,” the statement said.
The news comes after MailOnline revealed on Nov 1 two HGVs linked to Britain's most wanted brothers were chased by the authorities in the days before the migrants were found dead in the back of a lorry they allegedly own.
Ronan Hughes and his brother Chris have been on the run for ten days with police in Northern Ireland, Ireland and England wanting to arrest them on suspicion of manslaughter and people trafficking.
Haulier brother Ronan and Chris Hughes, from Co Armagh, are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking but have vanished
The haulier siblings - currently the most hunted men in Britain - are still wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking having vanished from their family farm in Northern Ireland.
At a press conference in Belfast on Nov 1, Essex Police Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten pleaded with them to hand themselves in - and raised the extraordinary prospect that the alleged people traffickers may well have been smuggled out of the UK themselves./.