Belfast Telegraph

Tilbury Docks: PSNI officers raid suspect’s home in probe into Essex docks shipping container death

BY NEVIN FARRELL

Police have swooped on the home of a man from Northern Ireland who was arrested after an Afghan man was found dead inside a shipping container in England.

The dead man was one of 35 Sikhs from Kabul, including 15 children, found at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on Saturday.

A 34-year-old man was detained on suspicion of manslaughter and people trafficking yesterday on the A1 dual carriageway near Banbridge, Co Down.

PSNI officers searched a number of properties yesterday, including the man's home in Limavady.

Residents were shocked as the searches took place in the residential Rose Park estate off the Edenmore Road in Co Londonderry.

It is understood a family lives in the bungalow and children’s toys and jetskis could be seen in the garden. Locals said the family had been there for some time.

The man was arrested just after midday by detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Branch.

Police named the Afghan man who was found dead inside the cargo container as 40-year-old Meet Singh Kapoor.

The ship had docked on Saturday after an overnight trip across the North Sea and several of those in the container were suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.

Port workers were alerted by the sound of screaming inside the container and banging on its door.

The 34 surviving men, women and children, aged from one to 72, are now in the care of the Home Office after being interviewed by police and are in the process of applying for asylum in the UK.

 A PSNI spokesman said: “The suspect has been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Antrim Police Station before being transferred to Essex for questioning.

“A number of Essex police officers have travelled to Northern Ireland as part of the investigation.”

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Martin Pasmore of Essex Police said: “This is a fast-moving investigation which has already involved a number of police forces and law enforcement agencies from across the United Kingdom and Europe.

“I am very grateful to officers from the PSNI for their assistance this morning. We will continue to work closely with all of our policing colleagues as we pursue our investigation to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.”

Limavady SDLP councillor Mickey Coyle said people were surprised by the arrest. He said: “I am shocked. We all tend to think that people involved in things like that are anonymous but in reality they could be your next-door neighbour. It is a bit of a shock especially when you hear about a man dying in the container.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “This tragic incident is a reminder of the devastating human consequences of illegal migration and we will do all we can to help bring those responsible to justice.”

Further reading

Immigrant found in container named

Trafficked people found in shipping container are 'Sikhs from Afghanistan' 

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