Second Northern Ireland arrest over migrant container death
First man arrested in Co Derry yesterday in connection with incident in Essex
A second man has been arrested in Northern Ireland in connection with the death of a man and discovery of 34 other immigrants in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks, Essex Police said. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire
This follows the arrest of a man im Northern Ireland yesterday in connection with the death of an Afghan man who was found in a shipping container along with 34 other people at Tilbury docks in Essex.
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers working in conjunction with their Essex counterparts detained the man after a raid on a property in Limavady, Co Derry, at lunchtime yesterday.
The PSNI said the 34-year-old was being held in connection with alleged manslaughter and facilitating illegal entry into the UK. He was detained on the main road between Belfast and Dublin, and was in custody awaiting transfer to England where he will be questioned by Essex officers.
Acting DCI 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.”
Thirteen children aged as young as one were among the suspected illegal immigrants discovered at Tilbury on Saturday. The stowaways - Afghan Sikhs from Kabul - were found after workers heard screaming and banging coming from a container while it was being unloaded from a ferry.
The dead man was identified as Meet Singh Kapoor, who was 40. The survivors are 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 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. All 34 are now in the process of claiming asylum in the UK and we are providing accommodation and support to those who require it while their cases are considered.”
The Home Office does not comment on individual cases and any asylum decision will not be announced publicly.
The container was on a P&O-owned commercial vessel, the Norstream, which carries freight between Zeebrugge in Belgium and Tilbury. The group was found inside a container by port staff just after 6.30am on Saturday. Many were suffering from dehydration and hypothermia.