10/28/2019, 09.53
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Essex refrigerated truck driver to appear for hearing

Manslaughter, trafficking in human beings, illegal immigration and money laundering are the charges. In Vietnam, the police collect DNA samples to identify the victims. The Catholic community of Phú Xuân, in the province of Nghệ An, gathers for a solemn mass.

London (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The truck driver from Northern Ireland who drove the refrigerated truck found last October 23 in Essex (south-east England) with 39 bodies on board, will now appear in video link before the Chelmsford Court. Maurice Robinson, 25-year-old from Craigavon, will face the following charges: manslaughter, human trafficking, illegal immigration and money laundering.

Investigators and the British police are at work in the largest process of identifying victims in the history of force. At first, the authorities claimed that the victims were Chinese, but a number of Vietnamese families fear that their loved ones are among the 31 men and eight women found dead. Yesterday, Vietnamese officials collected DNA samples from their relatives.

The majority of illegal migrants in Vietnam come from the country's rural provinces, where there are few jobs and income is well below the national average. The Catholic community of Phú Xuân, a town in the province of Nghệ An, gathered for a solemn mass. "We are gathered here to pray for all 39 victims," ​ Fr. Nguyễn Đức Vĩnh told the faithful. "We do not yet know if they are our children," he added as the congregation sang hymns. Parents in the area have set up improvised altars for their missing loved ones, many of whom have not been in touch since the truck was discovered.

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