Pleas to retrieve bodies of Dover IIs ignored

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 12:00am
 

Relatives of the Fujian stowaways who suffocated to death in a container in the English port of Dover this year said yesterday the mainland had repeatedly ignored pleas to collect the bodies.


Parents have made repeated requests to the Fuqing Public Security Bureau after DNA samples were taken by British detectives in September to confirm the identities of the dead.


Among the 58 dead, it was believed at least 11 were from villages near Jiangjing town, under the jurisdiction of Fuqing city, south of Fuzhou.


The parents of the 11 urged mainland police to arrest and prosecute the snakeheads whom they blame for the death of their children. 'We need to prosecute them, even if we go as far as Beijing to lodge our complaints,' said the mother of a 37-year-old man who died.


Her son had paid about $200,000 to snakeheads to sneak him into Britain.


Villagers near Jiangjing town said the snakeheads had remained low profile since the Dover tragedy and vigilant enforcement by the border defence police had kept them quiet. However, due to poor economic conditions in the city, quite a number of young people still harboured hopes of going overseas. Villagers claimed the snakeheads charged more or less the same as before the Dover incident.


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