10 December 2012

Mass poisoning of children believed to be an act of organised crime

ETLJB 10 December 2012 - The President of East Timor's Parliamentary Commission F on Committee F on Health, Education, Culture, Veterans and Gender Equality, Virgilio da Costa Hornai from the Democratic Party is reported to have said that the case of the poisoning of 62 children at a primary school in Los Palos earlier this year was an act of organised crime and was not accidental.

The Dili Weekly reported on 06 December 2012 the MP's comments that “We can say that it was organised crime because together there were 63 students; 10 of them were treated at home, while 53 were taken to the hospital and 2 of the students were taken to Dili; the rest recuperated while one is still here (in Dili),” said Mr. Hornai.

Mr Hornai said that he has a sample of the type of poisoning that made the students sick and he has handed the sample to the Ministry of Health for laboratory tests.

“I have the sample for this poison or medicine. I put it inside my car and I called the Vice Minister to pick it up and take it to be tested in the laboratory so that we can know what kind of serious damage this substance can inflict,” he said.

Meanwhile, another member of parliament, Ozorio Florindo, is reported by The Dili Weekly as saying that the 63 primary school students who were poisoned by their lunches are still traumatised whenever they eat.

“Everybody is fearful. They are even afraid to send their children to buy something at the kiosks,” Mr. Florindo told the National Parliament. He added that because of this incident everyone needs to be in harmony and agree to combat organised crimes such as this. He also suggested that in the future the number of intelligence services be increased to help identify organised crimes such as this one.

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