tilbury
The man was found dead inside a shipping container at Tilbury Port.Getty

A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, following the death of an Afghan man found inside a shipping container at a port in Essex.

Police in Northern Ireland arrested a 34 year-old man from Limavady, County Londonderry, on suspicion of manslaughter and facilitating illegal entry into the UK.

He is due to be questioned by Essex Police in connection with the discovery of 35 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan who were found "screaming and banging" inside a shipping container in Tilbury Dock.

The man found dead inside the cargo container has been named as 40 year-old Meet Singh Kapoor.

The remaining 34 people, including 13 children, are now in the process of claiming asylum in the UK, after travelling in the P&O vessel from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

International investigation

It is believed the Sikh families escaped from Afghanistan to avoid religious persecution.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector 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 UK 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."

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."

Peter De Waele, a spokesman for the federal police in Belgium, said he believes the stowaways were already inside the container when it arrived in Belgium.