Dhaka, Bangladesh
Rohingyas collecting BD passports thru traffickers

Slipping away from camps

Rohingyas collecting BD passports thru traffickers

Cox's Bazar, Jun 11: As they do not see any light of hope for their repatriation to their homeland in Rakhine state, Myanmar with dignity, a large number of Rohingyas are either making desperate move to go abroad illegally or spread to different parts of the country, putting their host Bangladesh in a fresh problem, reports UNB. Local police and NGO officials said a human trafficking racket is encouraging the Rohingyas, mainly the women, to take the risk of going to Malaysia and Indonesia through the sea or flee camps to collect Bangladeshi passports with fake documents. The racket is providing the Rohingyas with false documents for collecting passports and helping them escape their camps and contact their relatives living in different Muslim countries. Even, some Rohingyas are receiving Bangladesh passports with the help of the human traffickers resorting to various tricks. Contacted, Brig Gen Saidur Rahman Khan, Project Director (PD) of Introduction of e-Passport and Automated Border Control Management in Bangladesh, told UNB that almost all the Rohingyas took shelter in Bangladesh registered their biometric data. "We're taking steps to incorporate the finger prints of Rohingyas in our system so that they can't get Bangladeshi passports by any means. I hope, the process will be completed by July next," he added. Saidur said Rohingyas collect necessary documents for passports showing Bangladeshis as their parents as locals help them. Local police, BGB members and coastguards intensified their monitoring and launched special drives to prevent the Rohingyas from escaping their camps. Law enforcers set up eight check posts at Ukhiya and Teknaf while coastguards took position at different points of the Naf River and the Bay of Bengal. In their separate drives, BGB, Coast Guard and Police detained around 600 Rohingyas over the last one and half months foiling their bid to flee to Malaysia through the sea. Police super of Cox's Bazar ABM Masud Hossain said Rohingyas are mainly fleeing their camps through different clandestine ways in hills and jungles. Besides, he said, the displaced Myanmar nationals are now taking help from local people to learn their language, dress-up style, and way of communication. "So, they now make efforts to escape their camps pretending to be local people." Masud also said most of the Rohingyas detained while fleeing their camps were women. On June 6, police arrested 18 Rohingyas from Cox's Bazar's Link Road and produced them before a court. On May 30, coastguards arrested 56 Rohingyas -- 26 women, 20 men and 10 children-and two human traffickers from the deep sea while heading towards Malaysia. Earlier, the law enforcers detained 517 Rohingyas and 32 human traffickers in their different drives. The detained Rohingyas were taken back to their camps while the human traffickers produced before the court. Some of the Rohingyas who got scattered to different parts of the country were also detained by police. On May 10, police arrested 23 Rohingyas from Khilkhet area in Dhaka as they were preparing to leave Bangladesh for Malaysia with Bangladeshi passports. Two Rohingya women were detained at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport while attempting to go to Saudi Arabia by a flight of Kuwait Airlines on May 25. A day before, police detained 50 Rohingyas during a drive in Kazir Dewri area in Chattogram city and sent them back to their camps. Besides, around 50 Rohingyas were detained from different parts of the country as they tried to collect passports with fake documents. Reuters adds from Bangkok: A fishing boat carrying more than 60 Rohingya Muslims was found beached on an island in southern Thailand on Tuesday, officials said. The passengers - 28 men, 31 women and five children - were stranded on Rawi island in Tarutao National Park in Thailand's southern Satun province after the boat suffered engine trouble, a park official told Reuters. Scores of Rohingya Muslims have boarded boats in recent months to try to reach Malaysia, part of what authorities fear could be a new wave of people smuggling by sea after a 2015 crackdown on trafficking. A Satun government official said the passengers would be transferred to the mainland. "Everyone will be investigated in order to see whether they are victims of trafficking or illegal immigrants," said the official who declined to be named. More than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017 fleeing an army crackdown in Myanmar's Rakhine state, according to U.N. agencies. Myanmar regards Rohingya as illegal migrants from the Indian subcontinent and has confined tens of thousands to sprawling camps in Rakhine since violence swept the area in 2012. The unrest prompted tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee Myanmar by sea. The exodus peaked in 2015, when an estimated 25,000 people crossed the Andaman Sea for Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, many drowning in unsafe and overloaded boats.

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