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Chinese crew member sought after five found murdered on fishing boat

Chinese police have launched a manhunt after finding five bodies, one of them beheaded, on board a fishing boat off the country's east coast.

The boat was found near the city of Zhoushan in Zhejiang province with no-one aboard alive, according to a police notice posted online.

One crew member and a life raft were missing.

The Zhoushan police notice said Fang Zhongqiu was "strongly suspected" of involvement in the case, but offered no further details.

State media reports said the five victims were aged 31 to 54. The Global Times newspaper cited an unidentified relative of one of the victims saying one of the bodies had been beheaded.

Violence in China's vast fishing industry is not uncommon, usually sparked by disputes over money. Pollution and overfishing have led to diminished catches off the Chinese coast, forcing boats to travel further abroad and bringing them into conflict with foreign authorities and other fishermen.

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