All 39 people found dead in UK truck were Vietnamese

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All 39 bodies found in a refrigerated truck outside London last month have now been identified as citizens of Vietnam, officials said on Thursday.

The prime minister has directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, and other authorities to work closely with the British side to urgently handle relevant issues, including identifying information and names of the victims and taking necessary protective measures so as to soon repatriate their bodies back home, said the statement published on the government's portal on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, assistant chief constable Tim Smith - who is leading the investigation - said the formal identification of the victims represents an "important step" in their inquiry.

The Vietnamese embassy in London said it was "in deep sorrow, we would like to convey our profound condolences and sympathy to the bereaved families". "Our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those whose tragic journey ended on our shores". The lorry trailer was travelling from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Grays, Essex.

Eight people were arrested earlier this week by Vietnamese police, bringing the total number of arrests there to 10.

Three other people have been released on bail pending further investigation in the case.

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Vietnam sent a delegation of officials to the United Kingdom earlier this week to assist with the investigation.

Vietnam has held 11 people in connection with the deaths for helping people travel abroad with the intention of staying overseas illegally.

Essex Police said the National Crime Agency and European law enforcement colleagues were also continuing to investigate the case.

The driver of the truck has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, and money laundering.

The police later said Eamon Harrison, 23, from Northern Ireland, was accused of manslaughter and human trafficking and immigration offences.

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.

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