Police visit China in DNA attempt to name lorry victims

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The Independent Online

Four police officers and a forensic scientist will travel to China to take samples of DNA from the relatives of most of the 58 immigrants found dead in the back of a lorry at Dover.

Four police officers and a forensic scientist will travel to China to take samples of DNA from the relatives of most of the 58 immigrants found dead in the back of a lorry at Dover.

The Chinese government invited Kent police to fly the team to the eastern Chinese province of Fujian on the coast of the Taiwan Strait to try to confirm identities of the victims.

Relatives of 42 of the 58 people who perished as they were smuggled into Britain last month have given police photographs and descriptions.Most of the details were supplied from families in China, although a few came from London.

The bodies and two survivors were discovered by customs at Dover on 18 June. An inquest was told they suffocated in the sealed lorry, behind cases of tomatoes.

The survivors, who are staying at a secret address, have been helping officers in their attempt to identify the victims.

The Kent team, led by Detective Superintendent Dennis McGookin, will take DNA samples in China. Once identified, bodies can be returned home.The officers will not be conducting interviews.

Det Supt McGookin has also appealed to the Chinese community in London for further help in identifying the bodies of the unknown illegal immigrants. The survivors have been helping officers and are at a secret address.

Perry Wacker, 32, of Rotterdam, the driver of the lorry, has been charged with manslaughter and migrant smuggling.

You Yi, a chef aged 38, and Ying Guo, a female interpreter aged 29, of South Woodford, Essex, are jointly accused with conspiracy to aid illegal entry into the UK.

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