Monday, 18 June 2018

Teknaf, Bangladesh: Ten Rohingya boatpeople were arrested by Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), yesterday night from Teknaf while preparing to go to Malaysia, said a local elder from Shapuri Dip on condition of anonymity.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel with arrested ten Rohingya sea voyagers in Teknaf

“Ten sea voyagers were arrested by BGB personnel led by Nayeb Sufador Mohamed Wazib Uddin of Sapran BGB out-post while hiding in a big backyard of areca palm to avoid arrest from BGB and Coast Guard and police yesterday.” 

“The arrested sea voyagers are - Mohamed Seraz (25), Mohamed Taher (16), Shona Meah (25), Eman Hossain (26), Noor Hossain(25), Abul Hossain (40), Salim Ullah (16),  Aman Ullah(21), Abdul Hamid (38), son of Noor Mohamed, and Nurul Hakim (60).”

“The sea voyagers have already paid Taka 30,000 per each to Salim Maji (driver), son of Ghura Meah, hailed from Lombori village of Teknaf, and Gaffor Maji, hailed from Fansari Para of Saparan union for the voyage of Thailand or Malaysia,” according to an arrestee.

The BGB filed a case at Teknaf police station against the sea voyagers, said BGB official and the 42 Battalion Commander Lt.Col Zahid Hussan confirmed it. 

An engine boat with 110 boatpeople had been sunk in the Bay of Bengal on the night of December13 where some people were dead and missing till now.

The voyage to Malaysia from Bangladesh and Burma is a risky route where some boatpeople were died on the way with risky boat which sank in the sea, some were arrested by Thailand and Burma, but voyagers from Burma and Bangladesh are still not stopped to go that risky route.

“Recently, a police officer from Rangoon came to Maungdaw Township, and then went to Maungdaw south where an engine boat was sank while going to Malaysia and died some of the boatpeople. The officer held a meeting at the village inviting all the villagers and told that not to send people to Thailand or Malaysia as they are being arrested by Thai or Burma’s authorities and sent to jail.  In future, the political situation of Burma including the Arakan State will be changed. So, it is not necessary sending people to abroad for earning,” said a village elder quoting the police officer who had participated in the meeting.

Nearly 200 people -- half of them Rohingyas -- have been arrested and some 10 boats seized since the latest wave of migration began in early November, according to Teknaf police chief Mahbubul Haq.

"We have put undercover agents along the border. They are tipping us off to any moves by traffickers to get Rohingyas and Bangladeshis into the boats to attempt the journey.”

"But I am afraid many boats may have evaded our crackdown and set sail anyway."

"Traffickers charge only around 20,000 taka ($300) for a boat ride to Malaysia, which is at least 15 times cheaper than the migration fees being charged by recruiting agencies."

Rohingya, one of the most persecuted minorities on earth, thousands of Muslim Rohingyas -- who are not recognized as citizens in Burma -- stream across the border into Muslim-majority Bangladesh every year, according to description by the United Nations which published in AFP “Bangladesh cracks down on boat migrants to Malaysia.”

Bangladesh recognizes 28,000 of them as registered refugees, who live in two official UN camps near the border. This figure is a fraction of the 200,000 to 300,000 "unofficial" refugees, according to government estimates.

"For many refugees, the risky sea journey is better than the squalor and near starvation in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. A lot of Rohingyas know that the trip is like suicide. But do they have any choice?," said Mujibur Rahaman -, a registered refugee at the UN's Kutupalong refugee camp – and he said “The Rohingyas are driven by a sense of "utter frustration" to attempt the boat trip to Malaysia.”