Stowaway Caught After He Orders Beer

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Stowaway caught after he orders beer
February 11, 2005

An American who tried to stow away to Australia was caught after he ordered a beer at the ship's bar in New Zealand waters.

Mathew Whiley, 34, slipped onto the vessel in Auckland harbour and made it as far as Milford Sound on the South Island.

The crew got suspicious after he charged his bar bill to a cabin number that came "off the top of his head", a prosecutor told a court in Invercargill yesterday.

He was soon found hiding near the bow and surrendered to the captain.

He had hoped to get to cross the Tasman secretly after Australian authorities refused him a visa.

The judge convicted him on charges of being unlawfully on a ship, two counts of theft, and obtaining beer by fraudulent means.

No sentence was imposed but he was ordered to pay the shipping company $NZ261 ($240) in costs.

Whiley had earlier been in Australia, where he has a wife. He flew to New Zealand in January to get a new visa so he could return.


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