Date: 16 Aug 2014
Meet Singh Kapoor, an Afghan Sikh thought to be from India, was found dead in a container of 35 people that had been smuggled into England.
The police said, after discovering his body, that they were considering his death a homicide. It was later stated that Meet Kapoor had died of natural causes.
The 35 migrants were found in a 40ft shipping container at Tilbury Docks on the morning of 16 August 2014. Fifteen of them were children.
They had been hidden in the container, which was full of barrels of water, in a concealed area just 4ft high, at the top of the container. The container had two air holes and no toilets.
They were found after a dock worker heard banging and screaming coming from the container.
The shipping container had been carried on a P&O vessel from Zeebrugge in Belgium.
Other people in the shipping container were taken to local hospitals for dehydration, exhaustion and hypothermia.
A man from Limavady in County Derry was arrested on 19 August 2014 on the A1 dual carriageway at Banbridge, County Down, the main road between Belfast and Dublin.
On 20 August 2014, a second man, a Northern Irish man, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and facilitating illegal entry into the UK. He was 33 years old and had voluntarily walked into a police station in Essex on the Wednesday afternoon.
Friends of Meet Kapoor said that he had fled Afghanistan after receiving threats of kidnapping and extortion demands.
When the case was brought to trial in June 2015, four men were tried for conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry into the UK. However, no one was charge over the manslaughter of Meet Kapoor.
It was heard at the trial that a large and organised criminal syndicate was responsible for the people-smuggling operation that brought the shipping container to Tilbury on the morning of 16 August 2014.
The prosecution stated that the smuggling syndicate was made up of people from Northern Ireland, Belgium and London and that some of them were making regular trips to France and Belgium and working with other co-conspirators, making numerous short calls to each other. It was noted that some of the people on trial had had multiple sim cards and had using fake home addresses, email addresses and phone numbers with ferry and train agents.
The prosecution said that the migrants would have paid substantial amounts of money to the organisers of the smuggling syndicate which was operating the scheme for financial gain.
They remaining people from the container all later claimed asylum in the United Kingdom. However, the prosecution noted that each of the Afghan Sikh’s in the container had escaped their homeland for different reasons and noted that their journeys all differed, and their experiences were not the same. However, the prosecution noted that the common intention was to travel by unlawful means, adding that there was no dispute each of them were trying to get into the country illegally.
During the first trial a Kurdish man that had been living in London at the time was convicted for conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK. One man was found not guilty of the charges against him, but a fresh trial was ordered against the other two men who were from Londonderry and Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The fresh trial was ordered for 23 May 2016 and on 17 June 2016, both of the Irish men, who were convicted of conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry into the UK, were sentenced to eight and nine years.