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Three Northern Ireland men deny role in the smuggling of Afghans

Three Northern Ireland men have denied their involvement in a people-smuggling operation which resulted in the death of an Afghan immigrant.

Meet Singh Kapoor (40) was found dead in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks in Essex.

He was among a group of 35 immigrants, including 13 children, found in the container on August 16.

The others in the container survived the ordeal.

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

The group of migrants, whose ages ranged from one year to 72, are believed to have fled Afghanistan after suffering persecution.

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

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