"Essex Police have been working with Vietnamese Police officers to present cases to Her Majesty’s Senior Coroner for Essex to verify the identities of the 39 people discovered at Grays in Essex on Wednesday 23 October. A series of files have been brought before an Identification Commission, and HM Senior Coroner Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray has now formally identified all of the victims, and the families of those victims have been notified", the police said.
Beasley-Murray said that the identification of the victims was a very important step in the investigation since it enabled the UK police to work with Vietnamese colleagues to support the families of the victims.
According to a statement by the Vietnamese authorities, as cited in a report by the VnExpress e-newspaper, all 39 victims were indeed nationals of Vietnam and came from the provinces of Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Thua Thien–Hue, as well as the northern city of Haiphong.
The dead migrants, discovered in late October, were nationals of Vietnam. Five suspects, including the truck driver, were detained, and three of them were later released on bail. According to the Essex police department, Ronan and Christopher Hughes from Northern Ireland are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking in connection with the tragedy.
On 23 October, the Essex police found the bodies of 39 people frozen to death in a truck that arrived in the UK from Belgium. Initially, the victims were identified as Chinese nationals, but three days later the Vietnamese caucus of the UK said that there were Vietnam citizens among them. Five suspects, including the truck driver, were detained, and three of them were later released on bail. The UK and Vietnam investigated the incident together.
Last week, Eamon Harrison from Northern Ireland was detained and accused of 39 counts of manslaughter, human trafficking and immigration offences. The UK authorities launched the procedure for his extradition.