Malaysia

Relatives stunned to hear strangers answer phones of MH17 victims

The looting of mobile phones, cameras, wallets and jewellery has been rampant at the MAS flight MH17 crash site. - Reuters pic, July 23, 2014.The looting of mobile phones, cameras, wallets and jewellery has been rampant at the MAS flight MH17 crash site. - Reuters pic, July 23, 2014.Relatives of those on board the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 were in for a rude shock when calls to the victims' mobile phones were answered, the Sydney Morning Herald reported today.

Quoting the Dutch paper De Telegraaf, SMH reported relatives calling the mobile phones of their loved ones only to have it answered by people who sounded "eastern European".

The possibility of calls made from the victims' phones will not likely be of any concern for the loved ones they leave behind as the telecommunication companies in the various countries have mostly agreed to cancel the subscriptions without a need for a death certificate, as is usually required.

But the bigger issue, as reported previously, that there was widespread looting at the crash site has now been proven beyond doubt.

According to SMH, the crash site area of 50 sq km, which is controlled mostly by pro-Russian separatists has seen anyone with the right accreditation, obtained from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, being allowed to roam the site under the watch of the militia.

The paper also reported that journalists who examined the scene said there was a notable lack of items such as phones, wallets, cameras and jewellery be it from luggage or just lying around.

Ukraine has also accused local militants of stealing diplomatic papers carried on the flight, reported SMH.

The Boeing 777 was en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam when it was shot down by what was believed to be a Russian-made SA-11 surface-to-air missile near the region of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine last Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.

Those responsible for downing the plane have yet to be identified, with Russian and Ukrainian authorities blaming each other and pro-Russia separatists for the disaster. – July 23, 2014.

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