UK & World News
Migrants 'Risked Being Trapped For Days'
More than 30 migrants found in a container at Tilbury Docks could have been locked inside for days had the crew not heard their screams, a border policing expert told Sky News.
Tony Smith, director of Borderpol, said containers were often left at the dockside for long periods before being opened.
"These people were locked in, with no real idea when that container would have been opened," he said.
"Were it not for an intervention at Tilbury, where they were heard inside, then they could have been in there for some days, just left on the dockside."
One person died and 34 others, including at least seven children, were discovered dehydrated and with hypothermia in the container at the Essex docks.
Mr Smith, whose organisation brings together intelligence on border issues, said he was certain the would-be migrants were put into the container by a crime gang.
"Let's be under no illusion, this is international organised crime," he said.
"There are people involved in this business - they have no regard whatsoever for borders, they have no concern for the health and safety and welfare of their cargo, their human cargo - it's a miserable business."
Mr Smith said the route out of Zeebrugge was an unusual one for immigrants to take because they would need to be locked into the hard-sided containers.
"Usually most of the resources in the border forces are concentrated in Calais and northern France because the opportunist illegal immigrant, or would-be illegal immigrant, will seek to board a lorry there, a soft-sided vehicle," he said.
"We do target containers for commodities - drugs, illegal substances, but it's unusual for humans to get on board containers.
"It's important to emphasise the dangers of doing that because these containers are sealed units."