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Essex lorry deaths a great humanitarian tragedy: Foreign Ministry spokesperson

After the UK police’s announcement on late November 1 that the victims in the Essex lorry case are thought to be Vietnamese, spokesperson of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang said on early November 2 that this is a great humanitarian tragedy.

“We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims over the huge loss," Hang said.

She informed that immediately after the case came to light on October 23, the Foreign Ministry had instructed the Consular Department and the Vietnam Embassy in the UK to coordinate with relevant agencies and localities of Vietnam and the UK, provide information related to the case from Vietnam to assist with the identification of victims, open hotlines to receive information and get citizen protection measures ready in the case there are Vietnamese among the victims. The embassy had also transferred the results of UK police’s identification process to Vietnamese agencies for cross-check.

At present, the Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam and UK police are coordinating in identifying victims suspected to be Vietnamese citizens in order to early announce information on victims’ identities.

“Vietnam strongly condemns human trafficking activities, which is a serious crime that needs to be strictly punished,” the spokesperson said, calling on countries in the region and the world to intensify cooperation to prevent and combat human trafficking, thus preventing the recurrence of similar tragedies.

The spokesperson also expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government, agencies and localities of the UK for their investigation, information provision and close coordination with Vietnamese agencies in the case.

“We hope the UK side would early complete the investigation and strictly punish those who are responsible for the tragedy,” she said.