Thu, 18 Sep 2003

Chinese seaman drowned in Merauke

JAYAPURA, Papua: A Chinese citizen was found dead in the Maro river in Merauke, Papua, on Tuesday after being swept away by the strong current, police said on Wednesday.

The victim is believed to have been fleeing arrest as police were in the process of seizing his ship at the time for illegal entry into local waters.

Merauke Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Hendrian Muntazar said the man, Zhou Waiguo, 40, was found floating face down in the river behind the Kuper terminal in Kuprik village. He was dressed only in his underpants

Fa Chu Ming, 43, a crewmate of Zhou's on the KMN Kompak 026 now lying at anchor in the Maro river after being detained by police, said he and Zhou had been attempting to swim on Saturday to the harbor, which was only some 500 meters away from the vessel, when they had been overwhelmed by the current.

"Our men have been searching for the missing alien since then, but he was only found yesterday (Tuesday) by a local villager who was traveling to Kuprik village. His body was then taken to Merauke hospital for an autopsy," added Muntazar. --JP