Essex lorry deaths: Vietnamese police arrest 8 people in connection with 39 migrant deaths

Essex lorry deaths: Vietnamese police arrest 8 people in connection with 39 migrant deaths

POLICE in Vietnam have arrested eight people in connection with the discovery of 39 bodies in the back of a lorry in Essex last month.

Initially, it was thought that the majority of those found dead were Chinese nationals, but the latest reports are suggesting that many, if not all of them, were from Vietnam.

It's been reported that the migrants from Vietnam were from the neighbouring provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, in the north of the country.

Nghe An province police chief Nguyen Huu Cau told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA): "Based on what we learn from the suspects, we will actively launch investigations to fight and eradicate these rings which bring people illegally to Britain.

"The best thing to do now is to deal with the consequences of the incident and help family members receive the bodies."

People gather to watch as a lorry, in which 39 bodies were discovered in the trailer, is driven from the site to a secure location where further forensic investigation can take place

He also added that police were treating the tragedy as a smuggling incident, rather than a human-trafficking one, suggesting the 39 migrants got into the lorry container willingly.

On Friday, police in Ha Tinh said they had arrested two people in connection with the deaths, and now it's believed that a further six people have been brought in for questioning.

On Sunday, a delegation of Vietnamese diplomats and police left for Britain where they were expected to meet with their British counterparts on Monday, Vietnam's official government website said on Monday.

Last week, British police charged two men with 39 counts manslaughter, including the Northern Irish driver of the lorry, 25-year-old Mo Robinson, as well as fellow Northern Irishman, 23-year-old Eamon Harrison.

Essex Police have also urged that Northern Irish brothers Ronan and Christopher Hughes both turn themselves in after authorities identified them as suspects in the investigation last week.