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UK police name four Vietnamese missing after fire

UK police Friday released the names of four Vietnamese men who have been missing since a fire destroyed a disused mill in northern England three months ago.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 07: UK police investigate suspicious package in London’s political district on June 07, 2022 in United Kingdom. Officers on patrol noticed a suspicious package and performed a controlled explosion. Police set up a safety cordon in Westminster, Britain’s political district around parliament, as they investigate a suspicious package. Rasid Necati Aslim / Anadolu Agency (Photo by Rasid Necati Aslim / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP)

UK police Friday released the names of four Vietnamese men who have been missing since a fire destroyed a disused mill in northern England three months ago.

The building in Oldham, near Manchester, was damaged beyond repair and on July 23, demolition workers found the remains of at least three unidentified victims in the wreckage.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said the four men were reported missing on July 21, and were now believed to have been inside the mill when the blaze broke out on May 7.

It said Cuong Van Chu, 39, arrived in Britain in June 2019 and had maintained regular contact with his wife and children until May 7, but had not been heard from since.

Uoc Van Nguyen, 31, was also in regular contact with his wife until May 7, when he said he was in a mill, the police said.

Duong Van Nguyen, 29, last contacted his family about three months ago, when he said he was living in an “abandoned house” and looking for work.

Nam Thanh Le, 21, arrived in Britain in January and last contacted his family on May 4 when he said he was living in a derelict house in “Dam”, believed to be Oldham.

“We are continuing to search Bismark House Mill to ensure the recovery of all human remains and any objects of significance,” GMP Detective Superintendent Lewis Hughes said in a statement.

Officers have been in contact with the four men’s relatives “and continue to make every effort to ensure they are fully updated and supported in Vietnam, as they would be in the United Kingdom”, he said.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the mill site was suspected of being used as a cannabis farm.

In October 2019, the bodies of 39 Vietnamese migrants including two 15-year-old boys were discovered inside a sealed lorry at a port near London.

The victims suffocated in the truck’s container as they were being transported to what they hoped would be new lives in Britain.

Several men involved in the pan-European people-smuggling operation have been jailed in Britain, one for 27 years.

Another 18 people have been convicted in connection with the case in Belgium, while others face trial in France.

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