35 People Sealed Inside Container Includes 1-yr-old Child
By Athena Yenko | August 18, 2014 1:12 PM EST
The thirty-five people found sealed inside a shipping container and screaming for help at an Essex dockyard includes children as young as 1-year-old, police found.
The thirty-five people were illegal immigrants identified to be Sikhs from Afghanistan. They were discovered after their loud banging and desperate scream for help.
Essex Police said that there are 9 men, 8 women aged between 18 to 72 and children aged 12 to as young as 1-year-old.
A dead man was also found among the immigrants after opening the container and investigations were already being done to determine the cause of death.
The other 34 survivors were given proper medical attention since they were found to be suffering from hypothermia and severe dehydration. Thirty of the survivors are now under the care of the Essex police and Border Force Staff.
Supt Trevor Roe, a spokesman for Essex Police, said that the Border Force are already communicating with partners within the local Sikh community in the Tilbury area to give the immigrants their religious and clothing needs.
Peter De Waele, spokesman for the federal police in Belgium, said that the Sikhs were already inside the container before it was put down in Zeebrugge. However, further investigation is still needed to establish this information.
Former head of the UK Border Force Tony Smith thinks that the people were victims by international organised crime.
"They're being exploited because the prize is a passage to the West - that's what they want, they want to migrate to the U.K or to Europe but they're being exploited by criminal gangs who are probably taking their entire life savings away on the promise of a passage to the West," Smith told BBC.
For Anthony Sheen, chairman of the Human Trafficking Foundation, the incident was a clear indication that people are desperate to improve their economic situation.
Sheen said their desperation is extreme that they are willing to leave their own homes and own countries, hoping to arrive in somewhere that is more accommodating, more kind, to achieve a better quality of life. Unfortunately, most of them end up with even more tragic lives.
For anyone who are worried about relatives, the U.K government is advising to call the "casualty bureau" at 0800 056 09440800 056 0944 or 0207 158 00100207 158 00100207 158 00100207 158 0010 if dialing from outside the UK.
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