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Tilbury Docks: Northern Ireland lorry drivers deny people smuggling after 35 Afghans found inside shipping container

By Claire Cromie

Published 08/06/2015

Stephen McLaughlin from Limavady
Stephen McLaughlin from Limavady
Tilbury Docks, Essex, where adults and children were found inside a shipping container
The trial relates to an incident at Tilbury Docks in south east London

Three Northern Irish men accused of people smuggling at Tilbury Docks last year have denied people smuggling.

Stephen McLaughlin, 34, of Limavady; Timothy Murphy, 33, of Elmgrove, Londonderry; Martin McGlinchey, 47, of Derryloughan Road, Coalisland, and Taha Sharif, 38, of Wandsworth Prison, all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

An international investigation was launched after 35 adults and children were found “banging and screaming” inside a shipping container at the docks on August 16.

One of the men, Meet Singh Kapoor, 40,  had died. The rest were treated for severe dehydration and hypothermia.

The group, whose ages ranged from one to 72, were believed to have fled Afghanistan after suffering persecution.

The trial is expected to begin at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday and will last until mid-July.

Belfast Telegraph

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