Vietnam PM orders probe into human trafficking allegations in UK truck deaths

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Saturday ordered local authorities to establish whether Vietnamese citizens are among the 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London on October 23.

Phuc also ordered the police to launch an investigation into alleged human trafficking activities. British police have said at least some of the victims may have come from the Southeast Asian country.

“Any violations will be strictly dealt with,” Phuc said in a statement posted on the government website. He said he wanted reports on the case from authorities by November 5.

Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had instructed its London embassy to assist British police with the identification of victims.

British police want help from members of the Vietnamese community in Britain and abroad to identify the 39 people found dead in the back of a truck on Wednesday, a senior officer said on Saturday.

Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore told reporters he could not rule out the presence of other nationalities among the dead, but said his officers had received most contact from Vietnamese people concerned about friends and relatives.

“Although we cannot speculate on the nationality of the victims, it is clear to everybody that we are getting a large amount of engagement from the Vietnamese population from communities at home and abroad,” Pasmore said.

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