Humans at Their Worst: MH17 Victims' Credit Cards Used in Ukraine, Phones 'Answered' by Strangers
By Reissa Su | July 25, 2014 12:04 PM EST
As the bodies of the MH17 victims return to their respective homes, grieving families were shocked to discover that their departed loved ones' belongings have been taken from the crash site in Ukraine.
Armed pro-Russian separatists stand guard as monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and members of a Malaysian air crash investigation team inspect the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 22, 2014. A train carrying the remains of many of the 298 victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 arrived in a Ukrainian government-held city on Tuesday on the first leg of their final journey home to be reclaimed by their families. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev (UKRAINE - Tags: TRANSPORT DISASTER CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)
According to reports, family members in The Netherlands had attempted to call the mobile numbers of their loved ones and were surprised to hear "eastern European-sounding voices" answering on the other end.
The local papers reported that telephone companies had agreed to cancel the mobile phone service in the absence of death certificates to prevent strangers from taking advantage of subscriptions.
Reports of looting incidents at the MH17 crash site circulated as the area measuring over 50 square kilometres remain unsecured because the territory is under the control of separatists. Journalists who were able to access the area under the watch of the militia noticed the lack of valuable items like gadgets, wallets and jewellery.
According to reports, some of the footage shot in the MH17 crash site have appeared to show one rebel "taking a ring" and placed it inside a paper bag.
The government of Ukraine has also accused militants of taking diplomatic papers that were in the downed Malaysia Airlines jet.
After the MH17 crash on July 17, eyewitness accounts revealed separatists taking cash, phones, cameras and jewellery from the site.
According to reports, one grieving wife of a South American helicopter pilot who was among the MH17 victims had no choice but to cancel his credit cards because they were used in Ukraine. Cameron Dalziel, a British passport holder who recently moved his wife Reine and kids to Malaysia, was aboard the downed plane. His wife's brother, Shane Hattingh, told CNN that she was shocked to see credit card transactions on his account even though Dalziel was already dead.
Ukrainian officials have urged relatives to cancel the credit cards of MH17 victims. Anton Gerashchenko said he has received information that separatists were not only collecting cash and jewellery but also credit cards. The official requested relatives to cancel accounts so the terrorists will not take advantage of them.
The MH17 death toll includes 189 Dutch, 44 Malaysians, 28 Australians, 12 Indonesians and 10 British passport holders. The Malaysian jet went down east of Ukraine on July 17 after it was hit by a surface-to-air missile, killing 298 people on board.
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