Citizen protection in the UK: Quickly, strictly in the spirit of supporting citizens with all might

Update: 17:20 | 01/11/2019
Right after updating the information that there could be Vietnamese citizens among 39 victims found dead in a refrigerated truck in Essex (England), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly carried out the task of protecting citizens, closely cooperated with the Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam's localities and the UK's police to obtain information, support identity verification of individuals who are considered to go missing in the UK.
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The case of 39 victims found dead in a truck in Essex (England) is shocking the world. (Photo: The Sun)

Taking part in quickly

On 26th October, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the Ministry of Public Security to assume the main responsibility and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the People's Committees of Nghe An, Ha Tinh provinces in urgently verifying information, investigating cases of illegal immigration to work abroad, strictly handling violations in accordance with laws.

The Prime Minister also assigned the Foreign Ministry to direct the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK to closely monitor the situation, work with relevant British agencies to confirm the victims' identity in case of being Vietnamese citizens (if any). The Prime Minister asked the ministries to urgently carry out the above tasks and report to him before 5th November.

Under the direction of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly took part in, closely coordinated with the Ministry of Public Security, localities,... to obtain information and support identity verification of individuals who are considered to go missing in the UK.

The Ministry also directed the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK to keep regular contact with Essex's police and relevant British agencies to obtain information, timely transfer the UK-provided data to the home country for verification, biometric check to find out victims' identity; at the same time, proactively take necessary measures of protection in case it is confirmed that there are Vietnamese citizens among the above-mentioned victims.

The Foreign Ministry instructed the Citizen Protection Call Center +84 981 8484 to receive all feedbacks and calls related to this incident, forward them to the Consular Department, and cooperate with the citizen protection hotline of the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK +44 7713 181501 to get more information from Vietnamese people in the UK.

citizen protection in the uk quickly strictly in the spirit of supporting citizens with all might
Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Tran Ngoc An exchanged with an Essex's police officer. (Photo courtesy of the Embassy)

Close cooperation

The task of protecting citizens in the UK is currently one of the Foreign Ministry's top priorities. With the spirit of working urgently, cooperating closely among parties, first steps have been implemented and brought about certain results.

Initial tasks were conducted in the UK. Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Tran Ngoc An spoke on the phone to British Interior Minister on the evening of 25th October. The representative of the Vietnamese Embassy also had meetings with the British Crime Prevention Service and the Essex County Police in charge of the incident. Accordingly, the Embassy of Vietnam and the UK authorities agreed to coordinate closely, share information during the investigation and verification of victims' identity.

In addition, Ambassador Tran Ngoc An and some Embassy's officials went to the scene of the incident, continued to work with local authority and police of the Essex county.

On the morning of 28th October, Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said that, the Foreign Ministry has been urgently implementing the instruction of the Prime Minister. The Vietnamese Embassy in the UK is also standby to wait for official information from the British side.

According to the Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister, the UK has just sent the information of 4 individuals among 39 victims. This is not identity verification of these victims. Instead, the UK has sent the records to match the identity information. They will conduct very meticulously as the British side does not accept identification and only rely on DNA test result.

Sharing at the National Assembly House's corridor on the morning of 29th October, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said that the Citizen Protection Call Center has received information from 14 families asking for support to verify and search for their loved ones.

The Consular Department directly contacted and instructed the families to provide necessary information to speed up the verification, at the same time asked the families to coordinate and provide updated information of their relatives (if any) in the UK to promptly handle.

In order to quickly cope with all possibilities, the Foreign Ministry has built specific scenarios for them. However, at present, it is necessary to wait for accurate results, then continue to build specific steps of negotiation and work.

So far, there has not been any certain information to confirm whether or not the victims dead in the refrigerated truck are Vietnamese, because the verification is a time-consuming job. According to Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, since 28th October, the British police can handle only 5-6 individuals, while there are up to 39 victims.

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(TGVN)