Vietnamese ambassador meets police to help identify 39 migrants found in lorry

The Vietnamese ambassador to the UK has met with detectives as they work to identify the bodies of 39 migrants found in a lorry in Essex.

Four people arrested after eight women and 31 men were found dead in the refrigerated trailer in an industrial park in Grays in the early hours of Wednesday remain in custody.

Essex Police initially believed the victims were all Chinese nationals.

A convoy of funeral directors vehicles
A convoy of funeral directors’ vehicles enter the Port of Tilbury to collect the bodies of the 39 people (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters on Saturday their nationalities are not yet known but the focus is now on the Vietnamese community, although “there may be other nationalities involved”.

He said he had met with Vietnamese ambassador Tran Ngoc An, who had visited the civic centre in Grays to pay tribute to the victims.

DCI Pasmore said there were “very, very few” identity documents recovered and that police will share fingerprints with Vietnamese authorities in a bid to identify the bodies.

POLICE Container
(PA Graphics)

Commenting on reports the lorry could have been part of a convoy of three carrying around 100 people, Mr Pasmore said investigators remain “open minded”.

“There are lines of inquiry that are set of course to establish whether or not there are wider conspiracies involved in this and the lines of inquiry are set to identify the wider conspiracy but I can say no more than that,” he said.

All of the bodies have bow been moved from the lorry in Tilbury Docks to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, for post-mortem examinations to be carried out.

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