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Raft man 'a stateless American'

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19:34 CEST+02:00
The mystery surrounding the man who was picked up from a raft in the Skagerrak strait between Sweden and Norway on Friday morning continued on Saturday despite police questioning.

During the interview the man 'amended' the false story he gave on Friday. He now says he was born to Russian-Jewish parents but was given up for adoption when he was just one year old.

On Friday he said that his name was George Williams and he was born in Cape Town in 1959. In Saturday's interview the man said that he lived in Israel as well as places in South Africa and the USA.

"We're taking everything he says with a pinch of salt. The explanation could possibly be that he doesn't want to tell us something, that he could be facing some threat, or that he is simply scared," said Thomas Fuxborg at Gothenburg police.

The man, who says he is a stateless American, wants to go to the USA and has said that he has applied for a visa at the US embassy in London.

"Obviously we'll check that at the same time as we contact the American embassy in Sweden," said Fuxborg.

The man still refuses to say how he ended up on a raft consisting of four oil drums, which had had any identifying marks scraped off.

He said that he had spent four days on the raft before a Norwegian ship found him and took him and his vessel onboard.

"It's impossible - then he would have been dead when they found him. According to Experts we've consulted a person could only survive 14 hours in those conditions. So we still don't know when he began his journey," said Fuxborg.

The man was treated overnight at Mölndal hospital for frostbite on his feet.

Interviews with the man will continue on Sunday.

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