Several Vietnamese families on Saturday (October 26th) expressed their fears about the identity of the 39 victims found on board a refrigerated truck on Wednesday, October 23, near London. Their children could, according to them, be part of it.
The British police initially announced that the 39 victims - including 31 men and 8 women - were Chinese. Doubts had emerged, however, and a spokeswoman said Friday that the situation was likely to change as the identification process was not completed.
In central Vietnam, at least two families have expressed concern that their children, who carry fake Chinese passports, may have died in the truck.
The father of a 20-year-old Vietnamese, Nguyen Dinh Gia told AFP on Saturday that he had received a cold call a few days ago announcing that his son had died while trying to reach the United Kingdom. Online, an unknown interlocutor speaking in Vietnamese said to him: "I beg your forgiveness, something unexpected happened."
"I collapsed on hearing this," Nguyen Dinh Gia said. "It seems like my son was in this truck, they're all dead."
According to him, his son had told him two weeks ago of his plan to join Britain from France, where he had been living illegally since 2018.
The mother of 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra also worries that her daughter is among the victims. The latter had sent an SMS to her mother explaining that she could "no longer breathe", that she was "dying", told her brother to AFP.
The two families, whose second lives in a simple hut covered with corrugated iron, come from the same region of Ha Tinh, a very poor part of Vietnam from which many migrants leave.
Often, they seek to join Britain to work in nail bars or illegal cannabis farms, hoping to make quick money.
Many of them pass through Russia or China with fake documents, and this trip can cost them up to the equivalent of 36,000 euros, a fortune in Vietnam where the average income does not exceed 2,000 euros per year. year, according to the World Bank.
Speed up the identification process
According to the BBC, since the discovery of the truck, the association of Vietnamese living in Britain VietHome has received photos of twenty missing Vietnamese. On Wednesday, the association said it received messages informing them of the disappearance of people aged 15 to 45 years.
The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said Saturday that its embassy in London was working to "speed up the process of victim identification".
The 39 bodies were found in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday in an industrial area of Grays, about thirty kilometers east of London.
The police in Essex on Friday announced three new arrests in this "fast forward" investigation: a 48-year-old Irishman, arrested at London's Stansted airport for human trafficking and homicide, and a couple - a man and a woman, aged 38 - living in the city of Warrington, in the north of England.