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China repatriates 2 Ethiopian stowaways

TWO Ethiopian stowaways have been repatriated from China yesterday, 62 days after they secretly boarded a ship for illegal immigration.

Frontier police said it was the seventh time one of the stowaways had failed to immigrate illegally, Oriental Morning Post reported today.

The two men boarded the Belize-registered ship Arbit in Djibouti on June 3, the report said. The ship arrived in Shanghai on July 18.

They originally planned to sneak into a European country, but the ship traveled along the Indian Ocean eastward into the Pacific Ocean to transport its shipment of goods, police told the newspaper.

Members of Arbit's crew found the pair five days into the voyage when they left their hiding place to look for food, according to the report. Singapore, India, Yemen and Sri Lanka all refused to repatriate the stowaways. Those nations do not have diplomatic relations with Ethiopia, the report said.

Arbit's crew treated the Ethiopians well and allowed the pair to watch TV some nights, they told police with the help of a translator.

Police sent the pair to Beijing on August 1 to catch a flight that departed for Ethiopia yesterday.


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