British police have charged a 25-year-old man with the manslaughter of 39 people after their bodies were discovered inside a refrigerated truck. Maurice Robinson was arrested shortly after the discovery was made at the Waterglade Retail Park in Grays, Essex, east of London.
Earlier, police in Ireland arrested a fifth suspect in connection with the case, as their British counterparts sought help from the Vietnamese community in trying to identify the victims.
A total of 24 families have reported to Vietnamese authorities that their family members may be missing in the UK amid fears that they are among the 39 people found dead.
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered an investigation into the case, according to Vietnamese media VnExpress. He assigned the country's ministry of public security to investigate, and uncover, cases of Vietnamese citizens leaving illegally and reporting them before November 5, 2019, said the report.
Two of the vehicles are thought to have completed their trips but the third, which was carrying the deceased victims, was delayed at an unknown location. The eventual destinations of the two other containers are not known. Sky News cannot independently verify the accounts.
“Regarding the tragedy in the UK, I understand details are limited at this point, but perhaps you can help me with some context in understanding. As you laid out, there have been many successes, advances and progress of the past 70 years with the People's Republic of China, and that was celebrated earlier this month with the national day. Hearing that and then from an outside perspective, what would then motivate people from China to want to leave in such a risky way?”
“You are with CNN, right? You asked this question out of turn and earned no credits at all.”
“First, like I said earlier to the Reuters journalist, we are in close contact with the British police who are still verifying the identity of the victims and could not confirm whether they were Chinese nationals at this point. ”
“Under the current circumstances, I believe everyone is saddened by the 39 lost souls, wondering what happened to them. We hope all countries will step up cooperation in countering human trafficking and illegal migration, don't we? The urgent task is to find out what actually happened and find ways to address similar issues. ”
“In your question you presumed those victims were Chinese and linked this case with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. This is a problem. It exposes something in your mind or rather, in the mind of some American media that you represent. What kind of answer did you hope to get from that? ”
“Like I said earlier, as we are now in the 70th year after the founding of the PRC, the Chinese people's happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment and security comes at an unprecedented level. All 1.4 billion Chinese are proud of our country's great achievements. If you look around, you'll know that China is not the country with serious illegal immigration issues. In fact, I know that a growing number of foreign friends want to study, travel, work and even live permanently in China. I believe this simple fact speaks volumes. ”
“This is why I think your question is indeed inappropriate. ”
Our number one priority is preserving the dignity of the 39 people who have died and ensuring that we get answers for their loved ones.