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August 25, 2009

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Ship tourists out of luck

Four Chinese tourists who had a total of more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,463) stolen from their cabins while on a cruise ship in international waters will not get their cash back but have provided a lesson to future ocean-going travelers.

The victims included a Shanghai resident, two people from Beijing and another from Guangdong Province.

Shanghai victim Liu Bo said cash and valuables should never be left in rooms and travelers should always use cabin safes - and pick a tough combination.

The thefts took place a week ago aboard the Italian liner Costa Classica, operated by Costa Cruises.

The victims suspect the perpetrator was a waiter who had access to their rooms.

Liu alerted Shanghai marine police when the vessel docked in the city on Saturday morning, but officers can do nothing due to complicated international public law.

Costa Cruises' public relations agency in Shanghai said yesterday the company was cooperating with police.

"The cruise company is willing to assist in the police investigation," said Hu Yanfei of the PR agency Daniel J Edelman Co. "The company so far has no plan for an official apology or a compensation proposal concerning the case is still being investigated.."

Liu was not happy and said: "That's a lame response."


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