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Stowaways, snakeheads and SMS

THREE teenagers trying to stow away to New York from Beijing on Monday were guided by "snakeheads" (people smugglers) with mobile phone messages.

A boy, 17, and two girls, both 16, were caught in an engineering compartment of an Air China jet, according to The Beijing News today.

The CA981 flight took off from Shanghai where the three allegedly boarded with fake ID cards. When the other passengers were about to disembark, they climbed into the compartment through a maintenance entrance.

Police found the smugglers' mobile messages. The teenagers' families were to pay 100,000 yuan (US$14,620) once the children arrived in New York. Police are continuing their investigations.


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