Vietnamese police have arrested eight more people in connection to the deaths of 39 immigrants found in the back of a refrigerated truck in Britain, authorities confirmed Monday.
The latest arrests were in Nghe An, a province in central Vietnam from where many of the eight women and 31 men found in the truck last month are believed to have originated.
It brings the total of arrests in Vietnam to 10, with several others busted in the UK and Ireland, including two men charged with 39 counts of manslaughter.
“This was a very painful incident, a humanitarian accident,” said Nguyen Huu Cau, director of Nghe An police, confirming the latest arrests, according to Agence France-Presse.
“Based on what we learn from the suspects, we will actively launch investigations to fight and eradicate these rings which bring people illegally to Britain,” the police chief said. “The best thing to do now is to deal with the consequences of the incident and help family members receive the bodies.”
The official Vietnam News Agency said the eight suspects were detained for “organizing (and) brokering people to go abroad and stay abroad illegally,” AFP said.
Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith has previously confirmed that all 39 dead are believed to be Vietnamese nationals.
On Sunday, a delegation of Vietnamese diplomats and police left for the UK where they were expected to meet their British counterparts, Vietnam’s official government website said.
The truck’s driver, Maurice Robinson, 25, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter and faces human trafficking and money laundering charges.
Eamonn Harrison, 22, also faces the same charges and British authorities are trying to get him extradited from Ireland, Essex Police confirmed.
Police are still hunting two men from Northern Ireland, Ronan Hughes, 40 and his brother Christopher Hughes, 34.
“Finding Ronan and Christopher Hughes is crucial to our investigation and the sooner we can make this happen, the sooner we can get on with our inquiries and bring those responsible for these tragic deaths to justice,” Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Stoten said at a press conference Friday.
With Post wires
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