Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people in relation to the discovery of 39 dead Vietnamese in a truck near London last month, state media said yesterday.
British police last week charged two men with manslaughter over the deaths of the group, whose bodies were found inside a container on the truck on Oct. 23.
“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,” said Nghe An Province police chief Nguyen Huu Cau, according to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
“The best thing to do now is to deal with the consequences of the incident and help family members receive the bodies,” Cau added.
Police were treating the case as a smuggling incident, rather than a case of people-trafficking, Cau said.
Most of the victims were from the neighboring provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh, in north-central Vietnan.
In these areas, poor job prospects, encouragement by authorities, smuggling gangs and environmental disaster all contribute to the wave of migrants seeking a new life abroad.
On Friday, police in Ha Tinh said they had arrested two people and summoned others for questioning on suspicion of involvement in the incident.
The discovery of the bodies has shone a spotlight on the illicit trade that sends poor people from Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.
The alleged truck driver has already been charged over the deaths and on Friday detectives said Eamon Harrison, 23, from Northern Ireland, was also accused of 39 counts of manslaughter, as well as human trafficking and immigration offenses.
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