The Latest: China asks UK for more info on truck victims

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The Latest on the 39 people found dead in the back of a truck in England (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

China says it has asked British authorities to provide more information on the identity of 39 people who were found dead in a truck in southeastern England last week.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday that the U.K. has not confirmed the victims’ nationalities. British police initially believed they were Chinese, but later acknowledged that the details were still evolving.

Geng described reports that the victims had Chinese passports as “speculation.”

The spokesman added that the Chinese embassies in Vietnam and the U.K. are in close contact with their counterparts in those countries.

He said he hoped “parties concerned about this incident should make remarks based on facts, instead of making subjective guesswork from first impressions.”

Dozens of Vietnamese families have reported missing relatives whom they fear are among the dead.

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4:45 p.m.

Vietnam says it has received from British authorities the documents of four of the people found dead in the back of a truck in England last week to help determine whether any of them are Vietnamese.

Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Thanh Son was cited by the VNExpress news website as saying Monday that the documents were handed over to ministry of public security. He said the documents will be used to help identify the victims.

It was not immediately clear what type of documents were sent.

British police initially believed the victims were Chinese, but later acknowledged that details around the bodies found last Wednesday in southeastern England were still evolving. Up to 24 Vietnamese families have since reported missing relatives whom they fear to be among the dead.

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2:35 p.m.

China says it hopes the U.K. can quickly identify the 39 people who were found dead in the back of a sealed truck in southeastern England.

Police initially believed the victims were Chinese, but dozens of Vietnamese families have since reported missing relatives whom they suspect to be among the dead.

China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong called on the international community Monday to work together against illegal immigration.

Chen said the case “needs to be jointly dealt with and properly resolved by all parties concerned so that we can prevent a tragedy like this from repeating in the future.”

British authorities charged the 25-year-old truck driver with 39 counts of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people. He is expected in court Monday.

Categories: International News