Fingerprints reveal raft man is Czech
Louis Roper · 16 May 2006, 18:17
Published: 16 May 2006 18:17 GMT+02:00
His identity was confirmed by Interpol with the help of fingerprint analysis, said police in Västra Götaland.
For the last two years the man has been living in England. In the weeks since he was picked up by a Norwegian ship on April 21st, he has variously been identified as a stateless American, a Londoner and born Russian-Jewish parents who gave him up for adoption when he was one year old.
It was later confirmed by a church in London that he had been a regular at their soup kitchen, going by the name of George Williams.
According to Swedish police, the man still refuses to say how he ended up far out at sea on a raft made of four oil drums - whose identifying marks had been scraped off - and bits of wood.
However, on Sunday Norway's Dagbladet newspaper published an email it said it had received from the man.
In the five page email the man described how he was travelling on a ship which he should not have been on, although he did not identify it. In muddled English he explained how he was thrown overboard by the unsympathetic crew.
"For me there was no doubt about the criminal character of that moment," he wrote.
He also expressed his gratitude to the crew of the Norwegian ship which rescued him.
"Praise the Lord for saving of my toes, feet, legs and fingers! Praise the Lord for the Swedish police action!" he wrote.
He is currently in the custody of the Swedish Board of Migration in Mölndal.