HANOI, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam is deeply saddened following British authorities' confirmation of Vietnamese victims among the 39 dead in Essex lorry, a spokesperson of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.
"This is a serious humanitarian tragedy. We are deeply saddened and we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish them to overcome this great pain and loss soon," Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said in an announcement released Saturday.
According to information from the Vietnamese Embassy in Britain, the Essex police announced on Friday that there are Vietnamese victims, who had not been identified, among the 39 found dead in a lorry truck in Britain, the announcement said.
From the beginning of the incident, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has directed its Consular Department and the embassy in Britain to coordinate directly with Vietnamese and British authorities, providing relevant information from Vietnam to assist the victims verification, setting a hotline to collect information and being ready to take protective measures in case there are Vietnamese victims, said Hang, adding that the Vietnamese embassy has also sent the identification of victims from British police to Vietnamese authorities for cross-checking.
Currently the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the British police agencies are actively working together to verify the identity of the victims suspected of being Vietnamese nationals and to publish information soon, the spokesperson said, appreciating the British government and relevant agencies for actively conducting the examination, providing information and working closely with Vietnamese authorities.
"Vietnam strongly condemns human trafficking, considers it a serious crime and must be punished properly," Hang said, calling on other countries in the region and the world to step up cooperation in the prevention and combat of human trafficking crimes, so as not to repeat the same tragedies.
"We hope that the British side will complete the investigation of the case soon, severely punishing those responsible for this tragedy," Hang said.