Public Security Ministry to investigate missing workers abroad hinh anh 1The scene of the tragedy in which 39 people were found dead in a container at Waterglade industrial park in Essex county of the UK on October 23 (Photo: AP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Public Security has directed the Social Order-Related Crime Investigating Police Department to work with the central provinces of Ha Tinh and Nghe An to verify information of local residents who reportedly went missing while moving from France to the UK.

The move was made after some families in the two provinces reported that they had lost contact of their relatives who are working abroad, fearing that the relatives may be related to the tragedy in which 39 people were found dead in a container at Waterglade industrial park in Essex county of the UK on October 23.

The ministry is also investigating to confirm if there is any individual or organization illegally taking Vietnamese citizens abroad.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the ministry to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the People’s Committees of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and relevant localities and agencies to promptly verify the case.  

He also requested the ministry to detect any cases of illegally sending Vietnamese citizens abroad and apply strict punishments on violation cases.

The PM asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to direct the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK to keep a close eye on the case and work with UK authorities in confirm the identity of the victims in case there are Vietnamese, while taking necessary citizen protection measures.

On October 25, the Vietnamese ambassador to the UK had a phone talk with the British Secretary of State for the Home Department, and the embassy’s representative held a working session with the police of the UK and Essex country on the case.

On October 26, the ambassador led a delegation from the embassy to the scene and worked with local authorities and police.

The embassy and British authorised agencies have agreed to work closely together and share information during the investigation process as well as in defining the victims’ identities. An information exchange channel has been set up between the embassy and Essex police.

As of 13:00 of October 26 (local time), no official information on the victims’ identities had been announced.

Anyone needing assistance related to the case can contact the Embassy of Vietnam in the UK via its hotline for assisting overseas Vietnamese at +44 7713 181 501 or Vietnam’s citizen protection hotline at +84 981 84 84 84./.