Essex Police on Friday said that the bodies of 39 people found dead inside a refrigerated container truck in southeastern England last month are believed to be Vietnamese nationals.
"At this time, we believe the victims are Vietnamese nationals, and we are in contact with the Vietnamese government," Assistant Chief Constable Tim Smith was quoted by CNN as saying in a statement.
He said that police were in "direct contact with a number of families in Vietnam and the UK, and we believe we have identified families for some of the victims whose journey ended in tragedy on our shores".
Initially, police had said that it believed the deceased victims were Chinese nationals. But later they announced last Friday that their assessment was "now a developing picture" after reports emerged of missing individuals belonging to the Vietnamese community.
Smith, however, said that "confirmatory evidence" required to present cases to the coroner's office "has not yet been obtained" and is being collected across several jurisdictions around the world.
"As a result, we cannot at this time announce the identity of any of the victims," he said.
Earlier on Friday, Vietnamese police arrested two suspects in connection to the case. They suspect that the arrested duo may have also been involved in previous missing persons cases.
On October 23, at least 31 men and eight women were found dead inside the truck at an industrial park in Grays, a town located 40 kilometres east of London.
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident which is said to have created the biggest British murder investigation since the July 2005 suicide bombings in London.
Among those arrested, the driver of the truck, identified as 25-year old Maurice Robinson, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and money laundering.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)