Dead man was illegal immigrant - police
DETECTIVES investigating the discovery of a body on a roadside verge near Witham have confirmed they believe he was a victim of people smuggling.The corpse was found alongside two distressed foreign men on Monday morning, one of whom was seriously ill.
By Roddy Ashworth
DETECTIVES investigating the discovery of a body on a roadside verge near Witham have confirmed they believe he was a victim of people smuggling.
The corpse was found alongside two distressed foreign men on Monday morning, one of whom was seriously ill.
Although the other man also required medical attention for dehydration, after he was released from hospital he was able to help police piece together what happened.
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His companion was still described as critical and suffering from serious dehydration.
A spokesman said that although the man is clearly very frightened, confused and still suffering the effects of his ordeal he has been speaking to police through an interpreter.
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Police believe all three men, who are in their 20s or 30s, originate from Pakistan and came into the UK via Europe, most likely in a vehicle through one of the shipping ports.
Yesterday evening a post mortem examination was being carried out on the dead man by a Home Office forensic pathologist at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.
A forensic examination of the scene where the men were found has been carried out and Essex Police has consulted with both an entomologist - an expert on insects - and a palynologist, an export in spores and pollen.
As a result of their findings it is believed the men were probably left at the location some time early on Monday morning before 7.30am, at least four hours before they were found.
A thorough search of the area has also been carried out to make sure there are no other immigrants nearby who may need medical attention.
Police have also asked local people to check any sheds or outbuildings in case any further immigrants are still in the area.
A spokeswoman for the police said the force was liasing closely with the ports and studying CCTV footage.
Officers are also liaising with the Immigration Nationality Directorate and Europol.
“We are asking motorists, or anyone coming through ports early yesterday morning, to focus on anything suspicious they may have seen,” the spokeswoman added.
“In particular, any vehicles driving along the A12, probably, but not necessarily, London-bound.
“It may be that a vehicle was driving slowly appearing to find a location where it was suitable to pull over or it may be that someone saw a vehicle parked up or pulling into Little Braxted Road on Monday morning.
“We also want to hear from anyone who saw any people of Asian appearance wandering along, appearing lost, confused and wearing dishevelled and dirty clothing.
“Finally it is possible that someone has information about the driver of the vehicle or individuals who might be involved in smuggling people into the country using Essex as a route.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Stanway Major Investigation Team on 01206 762122 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.