Monday , March 8 2021

Essex lorry deaths: All victims' bodies back in Vietnam – BBC News, BBC News


                                 A photo of Pham Thi Tra My with a flower in her hairImage copyright                 BBC News Still                                                      
Image caption                                    Pham Thi Tra My was identified as one of the victims                             

The bodies of all 39 people found in the back of a refrigerated lorry in Essex have been returned to Vietnam.

Among the victims were eight women and 31 men and boys, including two teenager aged 15.

The bodies were discovered on 23 October in a trailer in Grays. Investigations are ongoing in the UK and Vietnam.

A lorry driver accused of 39 counts of manslaughter hasadmitted plotting to assist illegal immigration.

The first bodies were flown to Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport on 27 November.

Ambulances took them to their family villages.

                                                                                                      Image copyright                 (AFP) AFP                                                       
Image caption                                    Ambulances took the victims’ bodies to their homes                             

Some families told the BBC repatriating their loved ones could leave them further in debt after it emerged it would would cost each family more than 66 million Vietnamese dong (about £ 2, 200),according to the vice minister of foreign affairs.

Pham Ngoc Tuan, brother of one of the victims, told the BBC’s Nga Pham: “We already had to borrow so much money, we had to mortgage what we had. even know if we can borrow any more. “

More than £ 84, 000 has been raised by various organisers to help support the families.

                                                                                                      Image copyright                 PA Media                                                      
Image caption                                    The bodies were discovered in a refrigerated trailer                             

Senior coroner for Essex, Caroline Beasley-Murray, said: “I am glad that all the victims of this appalling tragedy have now been repatriated and our thoughts remain with the bereaved families at this dreadful time for them.

) “It is important that not just the living but also the dead are treated with respect.”

Lorry driver Maurice Robinson admitted conspiring with others to assist illegal immigration and acquiring criminal property- namely cash – all between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019

                                                                                                      Image copyright                 Facebook                                                      
Image caption                                    Maurice Robinson is charged with 39 counts of manslaughter                             

Mr Robinson was not asked to plead to 39 charges of manslaughter and was remanded into custody pending another hearing on 13 December.


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