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British Ambassador shares condolences over Essex lorry tragedy

British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward has expressed his condolences after Essex police announced that they believe the victims who were found dead in the back of a refrigerated lorry in Essex, the UK, are Vietnamese.

In a message delivered on November 2, the ambassador said it has been one of the most difficult weeks for him in his career as a diplomat seeing the horrendous tragedy in Essex and the levels of anxiety and concern in Vietnam.

He said he and his team at the British embassy in Hanoi have been working day in and day out with colleagues in the UK and Vietnam.

“It is with great sadness that I must relay this information that at this time, Essex police believe the victims are Vietnamese nationals,” the ambassador said.

He went on to say that “As a father, brother, husband and son, I cannot imagine what it must be to lose your loved ones in this way, and so far away from home.”

According to the diplomat, while UK authorities cannot announce the identity of any of the victims at this time, Essex police will continue to cooperate closely with the Vietnamese government and others to identify the victims and offer support to all those affected by this tragedy.

“These are crimes that go on in the shadow and we don’t normally hear about them. That is why we are so shocked when we see the details on our television screens. As we mourn for the victims, we should also think about those people who might be exploited by the traffickers next, so that we can prevent another tragedy,” the ambassador stressed.

Affirming that this is a wake-up call for all people in the UK, in Vietnam and in the world, the ambassador pledged that as the investigation continues, he commits to putting in all the efforts of his team for the dignity of the victims.