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(LEAD) Boat found abandoned on west coast beach, illegal entry suspected

All News 16:16 May 24, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more info throughout; CHANGES quote at bottom)

TAEAN, South Korea, May 24 (Yonhap) -- A small boat presumed to have been used by illegal immigrants from China was found abandoned on a beach on the west coast, police said Sunday.

Police and the military are tracing those who were on board after checking nearby closed-circuit TV footage that showed people leaving the six-seat 1.5-ton boat on the beach in the western coastal city of Taean, they said.

A local resident called the police Saturday after seeing the boat had remained unattended for days. The boat was first spotted on the beach Wednesday.

The boat did not have a registered serial number and had an engine that is not distributed in South Korea. Inside the boat were clothes, leftover food and some items that appeared to have been made in China, police said.

A police officer said they are looking into the matter while weighing the possibility of an illegal entry of Chinese nationals.

"We are conducting the investigation with all possibilities open, such as a drifting or distress situation or an illegal entry," the officer said.

This photo, provided by a Yonhap reader, shows a boat abandoned at a beach in the coastal city of Taean. Police said on May 24, 2020, the illegal entry of Chinese is suspected. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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