World News: Essex Truck Deaths

Emily Toles, Reporter

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The investigation of the 39 bodies found in a truck in Essex, England is still ongoing.

Police found 39 bodies in a refrigerated container of a truck on Oct. 23 in Essex, England.

The 39 bodies, eight women and 31 men, were initially believed to be Chinese nationals however several frantic families from Vietnam have contacted authorities believing their loved ones were in the truck.

Frantic families in Vietnam who haven’t been able to reach relatives who were on route to Britain at the time the bodies were found fear the worse and have contacted the authorities as a result.

The bodies seem to be a part of “the line,” a shadowy network used in Vietnam to smuggle people into Europe.

This system has become common in the Nghe An province of Vietnam where the risks of working overseas illegally are seen as worth it because the pay is a lot more than what can be earned at home. Unfortunately, since the victims had few documents on them none have been officially identified.

Police have charged the driver of the truck with 39 counts of manslaughter along with conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering. The driver, 25-year-old Maurice Robinson, made his first appearance in court on Monday, Oct. 28.

According to a report from the Washington Post, police also arrested three more people on Oct. 25 on “suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and on suspicion of 39 counts of manslaughter.”

In the meantime, police are working with Chinese and Vietnamese authorities to identify the victims and figure out how they got to Essex, England.