A fundraising appeal to repatriate the body of an Albanian man who died on the Bibby Stockholm barge has nearly doubled its target of £10,000.

Leonard Farruku was found unresponsive on board the accommodation vessel at Portland Port, on December 12.

An inquest opened by Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin heard that a post-mortem examination found he had died from 'compression of the neck' caused by 'suspension by ligature'.

The hearing last month was told there were no suspicious circumstances and the case was adjourned for a full hearing to be held at a later date.

Mr Farruku’s family set up a GoFundMe page to raise £10,000 to repatriate the 27-year-old’s body, which remains in a Dorset mortuary.

By Wednesday, the campaign had reached £18,079.

Mr Farruku’s sister, Jola Dushku, said that the family had faced the 'double tragedy' of his death and not being able to afford to bring his body back to Albania for a funeral.

She added in a statement on the fundraising page: “Our brother Leonard Farruku’s life ended unimaginably for all of us while in the UK.

“As it has been reported widely in the UK media, Leonard died inside the Bibby Stockholm barge where the Home Office is accommodating people.

“An inquest has been opened into the circumstances of his death. Leonard’s body has been in the Dorset morgue since his death on December 12 2023.

“We kindly ask for help to raise funds to have Leonard’s body returned from the UK back home to Albania to rest in peace.

“With thanks and appreciation. Jola, Leonard’s sister.”

One donor posted on the fundraising page: “I am so sorry that your brother died in such awful circumstances and hope that having him back home will bring you some peace.”

Another wrote to Mr Farruku’s family saying: “I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope our donations show you that our government may be heartless but British people are usually ok.”

Another posted: “This is a sad situation beyond words and it’s basic humanity for the UK to facilitate his journey home so his family can grieve properly and say goodbye. RIP.”

Home Secretary James Cleverly previously said that Mr Farruku’s sudden death would be 'fully' investigated.

The Daily Telegraph, which first reported the deceased’s name, has stated that he paid 4,000 euro (£3,400) to cross the English Channel in a small boat to arrive in the country.

Ms Dushku, 33, who lives in Lombardy in Italy, told the newspaper: “When I spoke with him last time, he told me that the conditions in that boat were not bad but they were treated by the guards like animals.”

An impact assessment, which found the policy of housing asylum seekers on the Bibby Stockholm barge discriminated on the grounds of age and sex, was deleted from the Government’s website last month, two days after being published.

A note on the website said the impact assessment was 'published in error'.

The assessment found that the policy of housing up to 500 single men on the barge was 'directly discriminating in relation to age (and) sex' because the barge was only suitable for men aged 18 to 65.

The assessment argued that the greater need to house male asylum seekers within that age range in accommodation other than hotels justified discriminating on the grounds of age and sex.

The fundraising appeal can be found at https://gf.me/v/c/lyc5/tphag-leonard-farruku.