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4 Pakistani Nationals Jump Ship

July 15, 2002

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DESTREHAN, La. (AP) _ Four Pakistani nationals working aboard a grain ship docked near New Orleans left the vessel without permission and were apparently headed for Texas, authorities said.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service and border control agents were trying to track down the men Sunday evening. The men were ordered not to leave their ship as part of a standard INS order.

Investigators don’t yet know why the men left the ship, but said they do not consider them dangerous. The men have no criminal records in this country, officials said.

``We don’t have any information that they are criminals or terrorists or anything of that nature,″ St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said.

Champagne said the four men, all in their 20s and 30s, called a taxi and investigators have talked to the driver who picked them up around 8 a.m. Sunday.

The driver said the men asked to be taken to Houston, which is where their Malta-based ship Little Lady P had been docked before arriving in Destrehan.

The driver dropped them off at a bus stop in LaPlace.

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