Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith, officer in overall charge of the investigation into the deaths of 39 men and women discovered in the back of a lorry in Grays last week has confirmed that Essex Police now believe all the victims are Vietnamese nationals.
Mr Smith said: “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 whose journey ended in tragedy on our shores.
“The confirmatory evidence needed to formally present cases to HM Senior Coroner for her consideration has not yet been obtained. This evidence is being gathered across a number of jurisdictions worldwide. As a result, we cannot at this time announce the identity of any of the victims.
“We will continue to co-operate closely with the Vietnamese Government, and others, to identify the victims and offer our support to all those affected by this tragedy.
“I would like to continue to appeal to anyone who has information that may assist us in our process to identify the victims to please contact Essex Police.
“Details of how you can pass information can be found at mipp.police.uk where there are also details on how to contact us translated in to Vietnamese.
“We have specially trained people, supported by Vietnamese interpreters, answering our dedicated hotline between 9am to midnight, seven days a week on 0800 056 0944 if you live in the UK and 0044 207 158 0010 if you’re dialling internationally.
“Please come forward and help us to provide answers to the 39 people’s families.”