A second man has been charged over the death of 39 people in a truck in the UK, and it’s also been revealed that all the victims are thought to be Vietnamese.
A second man has been charged with manslaughter over the deaths of 39 people found in the back of a truck near London, British police said, as they confirmed they now believe all the victims were Vietnamese.
The discovery of the bodies in a container on an industrial estate has shone a spotlight on the illicit trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.
The alleged truck driver has already been charged over the deaths, and on Friday detectives said Eamon Harrison, 23, from Northern Ireland, was also accused of 39 counts of manslaughter as well as human trafficking and immigration offences.
Harrison appeared at Dublin’s High Court at the start of proceedings to extradite him from Ireland to Britain. He was remanded in custody until 11 November, a court statement said.
The bodies were found in the early hours of 23 October after the container arrived in Britain from Zeebrugge in Belgium. The container was picked up at Purfleet dock in Essex, east of London, by a truck allegedly driven by Maurice Robinson, 25, from Northern Ireland.
“We are in direct contact with a number of families in Vietnam and the UK, and we believe we have identified families for some of the victims,” Essex police Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith said on Twitter.
Vietnamese police said they had arrested two people and summoned others for questioning on Friday after opening a criminal investigation into suspected human trafficking.