84 Rohingyas rescued in Cox`s Bazar from traffickers


Staff Reporter :
At least 84 Rohingya refugees were rescued on Saturday from traffickers in Cox's Bazar as they were waiting to board a fishing trawler to go to Malaysia.
Of them, 31 women and 15 children.
The Bangladesh Coast Guard and the police also arrested five suspected members of a human trafficking ring.
The drives were conducted on the southern beach on Saint Martin's Island and Pekua Upazila's Ujantia Karimdad Mia Ghat in the early hours of Saturday.
"A Coast Guard team conducted a raid on a tip about a gang of human traffickers smuggling some people to Malaysia by boat," Teknaf Coast Guard Station Commander Lieutenant Faizul Islam Mondol told the media.
The 17 rescued Rohingyas and the five detained agents were handed over to the Teknaf Police, said the Coast Guard official.
"A case will be started against the traffickers. The Rohingya refugees will be produced in court before being sent to their respective camps," said officer in charge (OC) of Teknaf Police Pradip Kumar Das.
The other 67 Rohingyas were detained from Pekua's Ujantia Karimdad Mia Ghat, the police said.
Office-in charge of Pekua Police Md Zakir Hossain Bhuiyan said, a police team was dispatched to the spot on information that numerous people had gathered there in order to travel Malaysia by sea.
"The traffickers fled upon the arrival of the police but 67 Rohingyas were rescued. Of them, 21 were men, 31 women and 15 were children."
Citing the accounts of the Rohingyas, the OC said, "They admitted that they had assembled there to go to Malaysia by sea. The Rohingyas provided the names of four Bangladeshi men involved in human trafficking to the police. The culprits are Pekua residents Mohammad Titu, Abdul Goni, Mohammad Mansur and Mohammad Mezbah." The Rohingyas will be sent back to their respective camps, he added.
Over 1 million Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh in an effort to escape persecution in their homeland in Myanmar's Rakhine state. They are currently being sheltered at various refugee camps in Cox's Bazar.
Thousands of refugees attempt to flee the camps each year in pursuit of better opportunities in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.
They frequently spend their life savings to embark on dangerous boat journeys. They believe their lives will improve, but many fall prey to international human trafficking gangs.