The Essex Police has been able to identify all 39 victims of the Essex Lorry tragedy that was discovered on 23 October 2019. The victims all Vietnamese, were discovered dead inside a lorry trailer which travelled from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Grays, Essex.
The Essex Police which has been working with Vietnamese Police officers to verify the identities of the 39 people in the Essex Lorry tragedy, released a statement on Thursday where they confirmed that all of the 39 victims found in the back of a lorry in Grays last month, had been formally identified and their families informed.
According to the statement by Essex Police, a series of files were brought before an Identification Commission, and HM Senior Coroner Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray confirmed the latest development, where she said the victims have been formally identified and the families of those victims notified.
Speaking during Thursday’s press conference, HM Senior Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray said:
“May I take this opportunity to offer my deepest condolences to the victims’ families.”
The senior officer in charge of the enquiry, Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith said: “This is an important step in the investigation and enables us to work with our Vietnamese Police colleagues to support the families of those victims.
“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.
“Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those whose tragic journey ended on our shores.”
Police in the country have so far has arrested two people in Ha Tinh province and nine in Nghe An province on suspicion of organising people smuggling. So far, two people have been charged in the UK.
Essex Police have started extradition proceedings to bring 22-year-old Eamonn Harrison from Ireland to the UK.
Harrison, of Newry in Co Down, Northern Ireland, appeared at Dublin High Court on Friday charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, along with human trafficking and immigration offences, and was remanded in custody.
The driver of the lorry, Mo Robinson, 25, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on October 28 charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.
Detectives have also urged Ronan Hughes, 40, and his brother Christopher, 34, said to have links with the road haulage and shipping industries, to hand themselves in.
The pair, from Armagh in Northern Ireland, are wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and human trafficking.