Government Policy

57 Rohingyas rescued while being trafficked to Malaysia; 2 held

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) rescued fifty-seven Rohingyas, and a Bangladeshi national, off the Ukhiya Chepatkhali coast in Cox’s Bazar while being trafficked to Malaysia on Friday morning.

The elite force also arrested two members of human trafficking gang and seized a trawler during their drive, said Lt Col Khairul Islam, commander of Rab-15, in a press briefing on Friday afternoon.

The arrestees are Mohammad Sohail and Musa Salimullah.

Among the rescued, 57 are Rohingya refugees and one Bangladeshi citizen, the Rab official said. Of them, 10 are children and 24 women.

Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-15 carried out an operation and rescued them from the Chepatkhali coast off Ukhiya, said the official.

The human traffickers brought them from Rohingya camps aiming to traffic them to Malaysia.

They also took Tk 10-12 thousand in advance from each of them, he added.

Arkan Bibi, one of the victims, said, “My brother lives in Malaysia and he tried to take me there through a broker. But, they are actually traffickers and they took us in the middle of the sea and kept us hostage.”

Arifa Begum, a resident of Thaingkhali Camp-13, said, ‘my husband has been living in Malaysia for 13 years. My husband contacted the alleged broker Jagir Hossain and paid for taking me there. “Jagir picked me up in a trawler to take me to my husband,” Arifa added.

The rescued people had planned to go to Malaysia by sea after falling into the trap of the middlemen, said the Rab official Khairul.

Source: United News of Bangladesh