Tilbury Docks: Two charged over death of Sikh refugee from Afghanistan found in shipping container

Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, from Afghanistan, was found dead inside the airtight container

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The Independent Online

Two men have been charged in connection with the death of a man found in a shipping container at Tilbury docks, Essex Police have said.

Stephen McLaughlin, 34, and Timothy Murphy, 34, from Londonderry in Northern Ireland, have been charged with conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK.

Murphy spoke only to confirm his name and personal details when he appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Saturday morning.

He was remanded in custody for a plea and case management hearing at Basildon Crown Court on a date to be set in November.

It follows the death of Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, an immigrant from Afghanistan, whose body was discovered inside an airtight container on a P&O Ferry on August 16.

He had been part of a group of 35 people, including 13 children, found at the Port of Tilbury. The rest of the group - who ranged in age from one to 72, and are believed to have fled Afghanistan after suffering persecution - survived.

They are in the process of claiming asylum in the UK after travelling to Europe in a lorry before reportedly spending 18 hours in the cargo container en route to the UK.

A police statement said: "The men, who are both lorry drivers, have been detained in police custody to appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today, Saturday August 23."

Essex Police said a post-mortem examination on Mr Kapoor had failed to establish the cause of his death and inquiries are continuing.

Additional reporting by PA