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Posted: Monday 24 July, 2023 at 2:24 PM

Relatives disappointed over cremation of drowned Cameroonians 

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE three Cameroon nationals - two males and a female - who had perished at sea in the wee hours of Tuesday, March 28, 2023, were sometime in June cremated in St. Kitts and their family members are claiming that they were unaware of the authority’s intention.
    Local media houses were also unaware of the cremation until recently when the family members disclosed that they were only notified after the fact by Deputy Commissioner of Police Cromwell Henry.


    SKNVibes News reached out to the police to confirm that the deceased were indeed cremated, to which DCP Henry responded in the affirmative.


    The sister of one of the deceased, Nkanka, and her mother had appeared on the Phoenix Free Press show on Saturday evening (Jul. 22) and confirmed that they only recently received word from the DCP that the deceased had already been cremated.


    In a tearful explanation, Nkanka said that her brother had left the Cameroon in search of ‘greener pastures’ for himself and the entire family when they received word that he died during his quest. 


    They were heartbroken on receipt of his demise and claimed to have begged the police in Basseterre to send a photograph of his body, but that was not obtained, and they still have not been able to come to grips with the reality that the strong and healthy young man had perished.


    Speaking through a translator, his mother said that on Tuesday (Jul. 18) they were informed that her son was cremated and the police has the ashes.


    “Normally, when this incident occurred, the family was so, so disturbed. And, so it is not like we haven’t or we were not communicating with the Commissioner…would have been good, but we have been communicating.We always had a joint call with the Commissioner, he always joined us on the call,” a crying Nkanka said.


    The emotional family member criticized the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force for the way they communicated and handled the entire situation.


    “...he (Deputy Commissioner] said that the bodies were cremated  and when he got or tried to get in contact with them, he was told that the bodies were cremated and he did not know anything about it,” hostess Nikki Phoenix said on the show.


    SKNVibes News sent DCP Henry a message for a comment in response to the criticisms, but up to  press time he was unavailable.


    On March 28 this year, motor vessel Jenna B carrying 32 passengers had capsized off the coast of St. Kitts on the Atlantic side. On arrival at the scene, emergency responders and vessels had found three dead and 13 were drifting at sea.


    Reportedly, it was said that the occupants aboard the vessel were attempt to travel to the United States Virgin Islands enroute to mainland US.


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