A Chinese man died from cold and hunger while attempting to cross the Ukrainian border into the European Union member state Slovakia, Korrespondent magazine reported Thursday, according to DPA. The victim had died of exposure to the elements aggravated by extreme hunger, a Slovakian border patrol found.
Ukraine and Slovakia`s mountainous Carpathian region in recent days has been hit by this season`s first taste of Winter weather, with snow fall and temperatures dipping well below freezing in mountain areas.
An Indian national lying next to the Chinese was still alive, and was transported to a Slovakian hospital for treatment. He is expected to recover, said Tatiana Herasimchiuk, a Ukraine border troops spokeswoman.
Another eight persons of Asian origin, and thought to have originally accompanied the Chinese and Indian, were arrested while walking down rural road near Slovakia`s border with Ukraine.
The group apparently abandoned the two men because they were unable to keep up, Herasimchiuk said.
Ukrainian police in a subsequent raid of a house in Maly Berezny, a Ukrainian border village, discovered another nine Chinese illegal migrants locked in the building.
The Chinese told law enforcers they had paid four gangsters to smuggle them into Slovakia, but the Ukrainians locked them inside the house, denied the Chinese food, and beat those complaining of the treatment.
The captives` shoes were removed to prevent escape, according to the report.
Police arrested the owner of the house, who reportedly said he was renting out the building legally, and had no knowledge of plans to transport illegal migrants. Law enforcers were searching for the alleged mobsters.
The nine Chinese were being held in a jail in the city Chop, and would be sent home in coming months, Herasimchiuk said.
Ukraine`s western Zakarpatia region borders on Hungary and Slovakia, and is a key transit point for migrants from East and Southwest Asia attempting to enter the European Union illegally.
Zakarpatian border villages are often economically depressed, leading some villagers to cooperate with human trafficking gangs trying to move illegal migrants across the border.
The region itself is mountainous and thinly-patrolled.