Things appear to be moving rapidly in the Essex Police investigation into the tragic deaths of 31 men and 8 women found in the contanerised refirigerated unit on the 23rd October. Essex Police continue to conduct the post mortem examinations and individual identifications have yet to be made. This will be sadly a long process. A spokesman for the Essex coroner's office told the BBC: "At this stage work is still ongoing to identify the 39 victims and it is not possible to put a timescale on this".
It is reported that 8 arrests yhave been made in Vietnam to date. These were in Nghe An and Nghe An province in north-central Vietnam province and in north-central Vietnam. This is good progress. I wonder if Essex Police will apply to extradite those suspects for trial in the UK. Time will tell. Vietnam does not have a good record in convicting human traffickers in the past and it would be a good time to test the life sentance options under the Modern Slavery Act of 2015 in this case.
In the UK and Ireland there have also been arrests with 2 suspects currently outstanding with Ronan and Christopher Hughes, being wanted on suspicion of manslaughter and people trafficking.
Since the discovery of the bodies Bernie Gravett has been called upon by the media from the UK, Canada, the USA and China to give his views on the tradegy. What we must understand is that this lorry is one of possibly hundreds that cross into the UK every month if not every week. We cannot say how many get through. What is emerging from the investigation is that the Irish based transport company have been making suspiciously similar journeys for a long time. They are likely only to be the transportation network at the final stages of victims journies and there is a much wider conspiracy in place.