UK Police Charge Man With Human Trafficking Offenses in Vietnamese Truck Deaths Inquiry

November 24, 2019 Updated: November 24, 2019

LONDON—British police have charged a 23-year-old man from Northern Ireland with human trafficking offenses as part of their inquiry into the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people found in the back of a truck near London last month.

The police said in a statement that Christopher Kennedy was arrested on Nov. 22 and that he is due to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in England on Monday.

The Crown Prosecution Service has authorized charges of “conspiracy to arrange or facilitate the travel of people with a view to exploitation and conspiracy to facilitate the commission of a breach of UK immigration law,” it said.

Police forensic officers attend the scene after a truck was found to contain a large number of dead bodies, in Thurrock, South England, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (Alastair Grant/AP)

The victims, 31 males, and eight women were found in a truck container on an industrial estate in Grays, Essex, not far from the docks on the River Thames, on Oct. 23.

The truck driver, who is also from Northern Ireland, has been charged with 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to traffic people, and money laundering.

By Elizabeth Piper