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Man guilty of smuggling 35 immigrants in container

Published 23/07/2015

35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, were found inside the container at Tilbury Docks
35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, were found inside the container at Tilbury Docks

A man has been found guilty of smuggling 35 immigrants in to the UK in a container in which one man died.

Four men have been on trial at Basildon Crown Court after denying organising the operation which was detected when 35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, were found inside the container at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on August 16.

Among them was Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, who had died in the overnight crossing from Zeebrugge, Belgium. The rest survived the ordeal but were found distressed in cramped conditions.

Today the jury found Taha Sharif, who is Kurdish and was living in Tottenham, London, guilty of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK, the court confirmed.

Stephen McLaughlin, 34, and Timothy Murphy, 33, both of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, and Martin McGlinchey, 47, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, all deny the same charge.

The jury has yet to reach a verdict on these counts and judge John Lodge said he would now accept a majority verdict.

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