Rebels allegedly took cellphones, credit cards from MH17 victims

Relatives of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash said that people are picking up their loved ones cellphones and using their credit cards.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |  July 24, 2014 at 4:08 PM
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DONETSK, Ukraine, July 24 (UPI) -- Pro-Russian rebels are allegedly answering the cellphones and using the credit cards of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash.

According to DutchNews, relatives have been calling their deceased loved ones' phone numbers only to have them answered by people with "Eastern European accents."

In addition to cellphones, the pro-Russian rebels are using victims credit cards. Families are finding mysterious charges on their statements from purchases made in Ukraine.

Cellphone companies have not verified who is answering the calls out of privacy concerns, but said services will be cancelled without the customary death certificate requirement.

Shane Hattingh, who lost his brother-in-law on the flight, told CNN his sister was "horrified" to see that someone was using her late husband's credit card.

"People are abusing it in the Ukraine," said Hattingh. Ukrainian officials are warning family members to cancel all credit cards.

"I have received information that terrorist death-hunters were collecting not only cash and jewelry of the dead passengers, but also credit cards," said Ukrainian official Anton Gerashchenko. "My humble request to relatives of the victims is to freeze their credit cards, so that they won't lose their assets to terrorists."

The separatists, who still control the site, have been accused of removing bodies, damaging evidence and looting jewelry and other valuables. The Daily Mail reports that they have been ordered to turn over the items of value to the Donetsk People's Republic Defense Fund.

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