HANOI      -    Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people in connection with the discovery of 39 dead people, all believed to be Vietnamese, in a truck near London last month, state media said on Monday, bringing the total number of arrests in Vietnam to 10.

British police last week charged two men with manslaughter over the deaths of the group, whose bodies were found inside a container on the truck on Oct. 23.

“Based on what we learn from the suspects, we will actively launch investigations to fight and eradicate these rings which bring people illegally to Britain,” said Nghe An province police chief Nguyen Huu Cau, according to the official Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

“The best thing to do now is to deal with the consequences of the incident and help family members receive the bodies,” Cau added.

Cau said police were treating the tragedy as a smuggling incident, rather than a case of people-trafficking, according to VNA.

Most of the victims were from the Nghe An and the neighboring province of Ha Tinh, in north-central Vietnam, where poor job prospects, encouragement by authorities, smuggling gangs and environmental disaster all fuel migration.

On Friday, police in Ha Tinh said they had arrested two people and summoned others for questioning on suspicion of involvement in the case.

The discovery of the bodies has shone a spotlight on the illicit trade that sends the poor of Asia, Africa and the Middle East on perilous journeys to the West.