U.K. Police Identify All 39 People Found Dead in Truck

LONDON — All 39 people who were discovered dead in a refrigerated trailer in southeast England last month have been identified, the police said on Thursday.

The authorities did not reveal the names of the eight women and 31 men whose bodies were found in a trailer in an industrial park in Grays, Essex, on Oct.

23. But the families of the victims were notified, according to a statement from the Essex Police.

The police confirmed that all the victims — who were believed to have been transported to England through a global human-trafficking network — were from Vietnam.

Although Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith of Essex Police, the senior police officer in charge of the investigation into the deaths, described the identifications as an “important step” in the inquiry, some Vietnamese families whose missing relatives fell silent two weeks ago did not wait for formal identification before beginning to grieve.

The Vietnamese Embassy in London also released a statement on Thursday expressing “deep sorrow” over the deaths.

Essex Police said further updates on the case of the 39 deaths would be given in due course. But, Mr.

Smith’s statement said, “It is only right that we provide an opportunity for family members to take in the news confirming the death of their loved ones before releasing any further information.”

The British and Vietnamese authorities have worked closely together to piece together why the 39 people died and how they had traveled from Vietnam to Grays, a town 25 miles east of London.

The police in Vietnam detained eight people on Monday, adding to an increasing tally of arrests in connection with the case.

In Britain, the driver of the truck, Maurice Robinson, 25, of Northern Ireland, was arrested last month and charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, in addition to conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.

Another truck driver from Northern Ireland, Eamon Harrison, 22, was arrested last week and also charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, human trafficking and immigration offenses.

Two brothers from Northern Ireland, Ronan and Christopher Hughes, are also wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking in connection with the case, and the police have appealed to the pair to hand themselves in and assist the authorities with the investigation.

When the 39 bodies were discovered, the case caused shock waves around the world, but there are signs that it has not deterred other human-trafficking and smuggling efforts.

In Belgium, 11 men from Syria and one from Sudan were found alive last month by the police in the refrigerated trailer of a truck, and 41 men and boys were discovered by the Greek police in a similar situation during a routine highway check on Monday.

Megan Specia contributed reporting.

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