Maungdaw, Arakan State: Burma’s border security force, Nasaka, has been extorting money from Rohingya villagers of Maungdaw Township, by illegally accusing them of various false charges, said a local businessman.

The authorities have been selecting villagers, who are able to pay through their local collaborators. Mostly, they choose those villagers to extort money from, who have relatives living abroad such as Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Malaysia, Thailand and other countries. The concerned authorities know that the Rohingya villagers would be compelled to pay the money demanded because they have no other choice said a village elder.   

For instance, on December 3, Obaiudul Hoque (35), son of Khalu, who hails from Naribill west Village of Maungdaw Township, was arrested by Nasaka personnel of area No. 6 on allegations that he had an illicit affair with a woman from the same village.  The woman has been identified as Zawbeda Khatun (35), wife of Shaffiur Rahman, who has been living in KSA. The accused was tortured by the Nasaka after his arrest to get a confessional statement from him. However, the victim denied the Nasaka’s false, baseless and fabricated accusations. But, he had to pay Kyat 200,000 to the Nasaka officer to avoid being tortured and to secure his release, said a relative of the victim, on condition of anonymity.  

The victim is the father of four children and he has relatives in KSA. Zawbeda Khatun has no allegations against the victim. There is no illicit affair between the victim and Zawbeda Khatun. The Nasaka personnel illegally accused him and extorted money from him. Both the victim and Zawbeda Khatun were humiliated in front of the villagers, without knowing anything. It will seriously affect Zawbeda Khatun, because her husband, who is living in KSA, will suspect her on the grounds of this false matter. Possibly, it might also lead to separation, said a local trader, who declined to be named.  

Moreover, on December 7, Md. Zaker (17), son of Bodiur Rahaman, who hails from Naribill south village of Maungdaw Township was arrested by Nasaka personnel of Nasaka area No.6 of Maungdaw Township. He was also accused of having an affair with a young girl named Sajeda Begum (not her real name) of the village. She is the daughter of Hussain Ahmed of the village. But, the victim denied that he had any relation with that girl, said a relative of Zaker, requesting not to be named.  

The next day, the girl was called to the Nasaka camp and asked whether she had an affair with the victim. She promptly denied that she had any relations with him. It is a matter of human rights violation against the girl. It might also affect her future marriage prospects, said a local school teacher.   

However, the victim was released after he paid Kyat 800,000 to the Nasaka officer. His father has been living in KSA. The authorities know that when their family members in Arakan State are pressurized by the authority, the relatives in KSA will send money to rescue the victim, from the hands of the concerned authority.