Europe

UK truck deaths: Vietnam 'strongly condemns' human trafficking, following fresh arrest

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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.

Vietnam says it "strongly condemns" human trafficking after British police confirmed 39 people found dead in a truck last week are believed to be Vietnamese. 

Most of the victims are thought to come from central Vietnam, where easy-to-find brokers help to arrange trips to Europe - often via Russia - for migrants hoping to earn money overseas. 

The extreme risks of the journeys were laid bare after eight women and 31 men were found dead in a refrigerated container in Essex, east of London, on 23 October.

Mo Robinson has been charged over the death of 39 people found in a truck.
Mo Robinson has been charged over the death of 39 people found in a truck.
AAP

Two people were arrested in central Ha Tinh province for human trafficking on Friday, as British police sought more suspects. 

Vietnam said Saturday it "strongly condemns human trafficking and considers it a serious crime," according to a statement from foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.

She called the incident a "serious humanitarian tragedy", urging help to tackle the scourge of trafficking.

Pham Thi Tra My, 26, sent text messages to her family saying she could not breathe.
Pham Thi Tra My, 26, sent text messages to her family saying she could not breathe.
Supplied

"Vietnam calls upon countries in the region and around the world to step up cooperation in combating human trafficking in order to prevent the recurrence of such tragedy," she added.

Officials are now working to identify the victims after DNA samples were collected from families in Ha Tinh and Nghe An provinces in central Vietnam.  

"I think my son could be among the 39 dead," Nguyen Dinh Gia told AFP Saturday from Ha Tinh province where he has been anxiously waiting for news about his child Nguyen Dinh Luong. 

The grim case has shocked Britain and plunged families in remote Vietnamese villages into grief. 

A court artist sketch shows lorry driver Maurice "Mo" Robinson, 25, on a video-link at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.
A court artist sketch shows lorry driver Maurice "Mo" Robinson, 25, on a video-link at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.
AP

It has also cast a light on sophisticated transnational trafficking networks helping to smuggle migrants into Britain.

The 25-year-old Northern Irish driver of the refrigerated lorry has been charged with manslaughter, money laundering and conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration.

The container lorry where 39 people were found dead inside leaves Grays, Essex
The container lorry where 39 people were found dead inside leaves Grays, Essex
(AAP)

In Dublin, another Northern Irishman appeared at Ireland's High Court for the start of extradition proceedings to bring him to Britain in connection with the incident. 

Ronan Hughes, right, and his brother Christopher Hughes from Northern Ireland.
Ronan Hughes, right, and his brother Christopher Hughes from Northern Ireland.
Essex Police

British police have also said they want to speak to Ronan and Christopher Hughes, two brothers in the haulage business from Northern Ireland.

Three other people have been arrested and released on police bail.

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