Freight News, Sea

Updated: Police make second arrest in Tilbury people-smuggling case, release container picture

[ August 19, 2014   //   ]

Essex Police and Home Office officials are continuing with their investigations into suspected people-trafficking following the discovery of 35 people – all Afghan Sikhs – in a container at the Port of Tilbury at the weekend, one of whom had died en route. The 31 men, women and children were found inside the container by port staff just after 6.30am on Saturday, 16 August after it had arrived on P&O’s Norstream ferry from Zeebrugge.

Essex Police said on 19 August that a 34-year-old man from Limavady was arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland on Tuesday 19 August at Banbridge, County Down in connection with the incident, followed, on 21 August by the arrest of a 33-year-old man from Londonderry after voluntarily attending a police station in Essex.

Initially, the Police declined to give details of where the container itself had travelled from or what, if any cargo it had been loaded with, saying it would form part of the ongoing investigation but on 21 August released a picture of the container involved – a blue 45-ft dryvan box labelled Hudig & Kersten, a Ireland/Continent container specialist acquired by Irish Continental Group in 2002. The Police also released a picture of the container showing the migrants belongings strewn over the top of what appeared to be palletised liquid containers; there was a five-foot space above the top of the cargo.

Police added at a press conference that a further 50 containers on board the Norstream had also been checked to ensure that there no other migrants aboard.


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