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

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Stephen McLaughlin from Limavady

Stephen McLaughlin from Limavady

Photopress Belfast

Tilbury Docks, Essex, where adults and children were found inside a shipping container

Tilbury Docks, Essex, where adults and children were found inside a shipping container

PA

Martin McGlinchey, left, and Stephen McLaughlin leave Basildon Crown Court in Essex where they and two other men denied their involvement in a people-smuggling operation

Martin McGlinchey, left, and Stephen McLaughlin leave Basildon Crown Court in Essex where they and two other men denied their involvement in a people-smuggling operation

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Stephen McLaughlin from Limavady

The trial of two Northern Irish men accused of people smuggling at Tilbury Docks last year is due to begin today.

Lorry drivers Stephen McLaughlin, 34, from Limavady, and Timothy Murphy, 33, of Elmgrove, Londonderry, are expected to appear before Basildon Crown Court in Essex, charged with conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK of 35 Afghan nationals.

An international investigation was launched after the 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.

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