Essex lorry tragedy updates: VN, UK are coordinating in quickening identification process

Vietnam and the UK have actively coordinated in quickening the identification of nationality of the victims of the Essex lorry tragedy.

Thursday 7 November 2019

Deputy Spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Ngo Toan Thang told a room of reporters that Viet Nam and the UK have been actively coordinating in quickening the process of identifying nationality of 39 people who were found dead in Essex.

Further information in connection with the case will be made public soon, Thang said.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung expressed thanks to the active cooperation of British functional agencies, affirming that Viet Nam will positively join hands with the British side to clarify the identity of 39 victims in the Essex lorry tragedy.

Dung held working sessions with Minister of Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom Heather Wheeler, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Home Office Seema Kennedy, Senior Coroner for Essex Caroline Beasley-Murray and Director General of Economic and Global Issues at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Menna Rawlings.

The Vietnamese functional agencies will carry out all citizen protection measures in necessary cases, said Dung, suggesting the British side support Viet Nam in this process.  

He proposed the UK boost the investigation process, strictly punish those who are responsible for the case and enhance coordination with the Vietnamese side in preventing illegal migration. 

Monday 4 November 2019

Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung had a working session with representatives of the UK Department of Home Affairs and Essex police.

During the working session, Dung, who was tasked by Prime Minister to lead a delegation to the UK, extended thanks for the UK’s close cooperation, asking competent agencies of the two countries to quicken the process of identifying nationality of the victims as soon as possible.

He also asked the Vietnamese Embassy in London to continue working closely with the local authorities and prepare possible citizen protection plans if necessary.

The same day, Dung also signed the Book of Condolences and laid wreaths to commemorate 39 people who found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex a fortnight ago.

Monday 4 November 2019

Police in the central province of Nghe An have arrested eight people in relation to the case of 39 people found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex, the UK a fortnight ago, Major General Nguyen Huu Cau, Director of the provincial Police Department told reporters on the sidelines of the 8th working session of the 14th National Assembly.

Cau said the local police have coordinated with central competent agencies to collect and test fingerprints of 21 people suspected of having relations to the case.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has extended his deepest condolences to families of the Essex lorry tragedy after he received latest reports from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Phuc, who was in Bangkok, Thailand to attend the 35th ASEAN Summit and related Summits, tasked the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promptly send delegations to the UK to collaborate with the host country’s competent authorities to settle related issues.

The Government chief also asked local authorities to take measures to condole families of the victims to help them overcome such huge loss.

Saturday 2 November 2019

On his Twitter account, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh wrote: “There were Vietnamese believed to be among 39 migrants who were found dead in a lorry in Essex. With deepest sorrows, I would like to extend deep sympathy with and sincere condolences to families of the victims. Viet Nam will continue working closely with the UK competent authorities in the case.”

Friday 1 November 2019

Foreign Ministry’ s Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang on Friday labelled the Essex lorry deaths as a “serious humanitarian tragedy” following the UK police’s announcement saying the Essex victims are thought to be Vietnamese.

“We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest sympathy to families of the victims and hope they will soon overcome such the huge loss,” said the Spokesperson.

Immediately after hearing the case, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry directed the Consular Department and Embassy in London to coordinate with relevant agencies and localities of Viet Nam and the UK, provide information related to the case to support identification of nationality of the victims, open hotlines to receive information and prepare citizen protection measures in case Vietnamese are among the victims, Hang said.

The Vietnamese Embassy also transferred identification results from the UK police to Viet Nam’s competent authorities for cross-check.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and UK police are coordinating in identifying the victims thought to be Vietnamese for early official information announcement, according to Hang.

Viet Nam strongly condemns human smuggling activities, which is a serious crime that must be strictly punished, Hang stressed.

Viet Nam calls on other countries in the region and the world to step up cooperation in combating human smuggling in order to prevent the recurrence of similar tragedies, Hang said.

She took the occasion to emphasize that Viet Nam extends thanks to and highly values the efforts made by the UK side in identification process and in coordination with Viet Nam’s competent authorities over the past time.

"We hope that the British side would soon complete the investigation to bring those responsible for this tragedy to justice," Hang stated.

Thursday 31 October 2019

Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel discussed coordination in identifying nationality of 39 people found dead in Essex, during their phone conversation.

Lam expressed regret over the tragedy in Essex county, saying that right after receiving information on the incident, the Ministry promptly and proactively directed its units and localities to quickly conduct verification, collect information and stand ready to join hands with the UK side when requested.

The two sides also exchanged ideas on a number of relevant issues, and agreed on various important contents in the coordination.

Minister Lam thanked the UK Secretary for her goodwill in cooperating and sharing information on the incident, affirming that the Ministry has been and will be continuing to closely cooperate with relevant authorities of the UK to investigate the case.

The Ministry is ready to send working teams to the UK to join hands with its police in investigating and verifying identities of the victims, said Lam.

He expressed his hope that the UK will take measures to stabilize security and safety of the Vietnamese citizens studying and working in the UK.

Lam also suggested that both sides should foster their effective cooperation in the fields of mutual interest, especially in combatting human trafficking.


Over the past days, Vietnamese polices have taken forensic samples from people in central Viet Nam after they reported to local authorities that their family members may be among the victims of the Essex tragedy.

The DNA collection aims to support the identification of nationalities of the 39 victims.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

UK Ambassador to Viet Nam Gareth Ward released a statement saying the UK side commits to working with the Vietnamese side as the investigation and process of identifying victims continues.

"We continue to work closely with the Vietnamese Government and remain committed to tackling all forms of human trafficking," according to the diplomat's second statement within the past week.

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung held phone talks with UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Asia and the Pacific) Heather Wheeler.

The Government and people of Viet Nam would like to extend condolences to families of the 39 people, who were found dead in Essex, whatever the nationalities the victims have, Dung said.

Dung suggested the UK side to support deployment of citizen protection measures in case Vietnamese are among victims of the tragedy.

Meanwhile Wheeler affirmed that the UK is trying its best to identify nationality of the victims and stands ready to cooperate with relevant parties to quickly complete the identification process.

Both sides expressed their shock at the incident and strongly condemned human trafficking.

They also affirmed their determination to combat trans-national organized crime while calling on the international community to strengthen cooperation in fighting this kind of crime.

Monday 28 October 2019

Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son told reporters on Monday that the UK side has sent four sets of dossiers related to the Essex lorry deaths to the Ministry of Public Security to ask for verification coordination.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developing dossiers of possible victims but until now there have been no grounds to confirm Vietnamese nationals are among the victims, Son said.

The Vietnamese Embassy in London has dispatched permanent diplomat to the scene while a representative of the Foreign Ministry will meet the British Ambassador in Viet Nam on October 28 to exchange information.

The same day, Nguyen Dac Vinh-Secretary of the Nghe An Provincial Party Committee said local authorities have taken hair and nail samples of the families who have reported that their relatives may be among the Essex victims and coordinate with the UK side in investigation process.

Vinh called on local residents to wait for exact information from competent authorities and avoid speculations that may make the families more anxious.

He recommended citizens should go to work abroad through legal channels protected by the Vietnamese State.

As of October 27, 24 families in Nghe An and Ha Tinh reported to local authorities that their relatives are missing in the Europe and the UK, according to VNExpress.

Police arrived to these families to take DNA in order to coordinate with the UK side in identifying whether their relatives are among the victims.

Monday 28 October 2019

UK Ambassador in Viet Nam Gareth Ward released a statement on Monday on the deaths of 39 people in Essex.

In his statement, the diplomat said he met with the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security to discuss the recent tragedy in the UK, where 39 individuals were found dead in Essex.

“At this time, we have not received confirmation as to who these people are, and where they are from. But whatever nationality they have, our hearts go out to their families and friends”, the statement reads.

“We know that there is a lot of concern amongst Vietnamese communities in the UK and in Viet Nam about this tragedy. I discussed with the Ministry of Public Security how we would work closely together during the process of victim identification.

As the UK police have explained to my colleague-the Vietnamese Ambassador in London, this identification process will take time to ensure the identity of the victims, to guarantee forensic accuracy, and to secure information for the ongoing investigation.

Sunday 27 October, 2019

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered a probe into trafficking of Vietnamese citizens amid fear that Vietnamese are among victims of the 39 people found dead in a refrigerated container of the semi-trailer truck at an industrial park in Essex, the UK.

The Government chief tasked the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local authorities of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and relevant localities to promptly probe the tragedy in the UK.

He also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to direct the Vietnamese Embassy in London to closely monitor and coordinate with the British side to verify whether Vietnamese nationals are among the victims.

Concerned agencies must report to the Prime Minister before November 5.

Saturday 26 October 2019

The Vietnamese Embassy in London announced its hotline +44 7713 181501 to help Vietnamese nationals seeking assistance after British police found the bodies of the 39 people in a refrigerated container of the semi-trailer truck at an industrial park in Essex.

Those seeking assistance in relation to the case can also contact Viet Nam’s general citizen protection hotline +84981 8484 84.

The Embassy in London has worked with British police to identify the nationality of the victims, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Essex police found 39 people dead at Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays in Essex, the UK.

Early indications suggest 38 are adults and one aged in their teens./. VGP

Quang Minh

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