KIEV: The bodies and belongings of the victims of flight MH17 have been looted, the leader of the rebels controlling the crash site admitted on Monday.
Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said that looters “can be found everywhere” and promised to punish any he found.
Witnesses have reported seeing separatists pocketing valuables and electronic equipment from the site, while Ukraine government officials have claimed that “terrorist death hunters” have been collecting victims’ cash and jewellery.
Families of British victims were urgently cancelling their loved ones’ credit cards and mobile phone accounts.
The Telegraph reported that the British Banking Association said that bereaved relations would be reimbursed if there was any evidence of fraud against the victims.
Borodai told reporters: “I don’t exclude certain cases of looting. Sons of bitches can be found everywhere. We are now investigating. Those who are guilty would be severely punished.”
Emergency services sources on the ground said that some of the rebels had “grabbed things” and then returned documents such as passports. “You wonder what they kept though,” one said.