At least 6 Chinese women drown off Taiwan


2003-08-27
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Smugglers pushed women overboard

Listen to the original broadcast in Cantonese

At least six Chinese women drowned Tuesday after two suspected alien-smugglers pushed them overboard as the Taiwan Coast Guard approached, RFA's Cantonese service reports.

"When the police approached, [the smugglers] said we should leave their ship," one survivor said in an interview. "Then they started pulling our hair and kicked us off the ship. Some of the girls yelled 'We don't know how to swim!' but they were thrown overboard and sank immediately."

The ship was illegally ferrying 26 women from China's Fujian Province to Taiwan at around 4 a.m. Tuesday when the Taiwan authorities approached, near Tunghsiao on Taiwan's west coast, sources said. Six women drowned, eight remain missing, and 12 were rescued.

According to the Associated Press, Coast Guard official Yun-huang told state radio that the Coast Guard later arrested four Taiwanese men at Penghu Island, west of Taiwan, in connection with the incident. One of the men had been detained briefly two weeks earlier for smuggling Chinese women to Taiwan, Huang was quoted as saying.

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