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July 18, 2019

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Return to sender: Stowaways sent back

Nine stowaways who boarded a ship in Africa trying to get to Europe received medical attention at Shanghai’s Yangshan Frontier Inspection Station after they got on the wrong ship, the station said yesterday.

Since their identities were not confirmed by the involved countries, they were put back on the Danish-registered vessel and are likely to be returned to Morocco, where they boarded.

Officers at the station said the men had hidden in empty containers. Each had paid a people smuggler US$250.

After they were discovered by the crew they had to stay on the vessel as it sailed to a number of Asian ports before docking at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port.

When they arrived at the port last week, they complained of symptoms that included headaches and itching.

The frontier inspection station then sent medics on board.

The vessel left port on Sunday morning to return to Europe but is likely to stop in Morocco to allow the stowaways to disembark. 

Officers at the Yangshan station said they had handled a similar case more than a decade ago. In that case, stowaways stayed on board for several years because of a failure to confirm their identities.


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