UK police yet to confirm identity of 39 found dead in truck: China


Representational image (Photo: IStock)

UK police have yet to confirm that the 39 people found dead in a truck near London were Chinese nationals, according to Chineses foreign ministry on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese consular official travelled to Essex, a day after emergency workers discovered the bodies inside the refrigerated container of a vehicle parked in an industrial area.

Police in the UK said that “all are believed to be Chinese nationals”.


“British police said they were verifying the identity of the victims and could not confirm whether they were Chinese,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, 25-year-old Northern Irish truck driver, Mo Robinson, was arrested on suspicion of murder.

Police said that the suspect remained in custody and confirmed that three properties were searched in County Armagh.

Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner said, “This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened”.

“We are in the process of identifying the victims, however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process”, Mariner added.

Police believe the container came from Belgium into England early Wednesday morning, while the truck that transported it is believed to have originated in Northern Ireland.

It is Britain’s largest murder probe in more than a decade.

The deaths echoed the discovery of 58 Chinese immigrants hidden in a Dutch truck in the English port of Dover in 2000. Only two had survived.