Dhaka – Coastguard on Wednesday filed a case against 19 suspected human traffickers after at least 15 Rohingya Muslims drowned in the Bay of Bengal as they had set sail to Malaysia by a rickety boat.
The case was filed with Teknaf police station against one Syaed Alam and his associates involved in human trafficking for a long time in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar whore more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims are living in squalid refugee camps.
The refugees and local people are often lured by the traffickers’ gang with the better jobs in Malaysia, and they arrange the dangerous voyage in exchange for money deep into the waters through the bay.
Pradip Kumar Das, the officer in charge of the police station, said they arrested eight suspected traffickers involved with the latest voyage that caused the fatalities in the sea.
The coast guard and the navy in a joint operation rescued more than 70 people from the sea after the boat carrying more than 135 Rohingya capsized off Saint Martin’s island on Tuesday. The coastguard resumed the search operation for the second day on Wednesday and rescued another Rohingya man.
Those who were rescued were kept at the premises of Teknaf police station. They will likely be sent to their respective camps after necessary verification, said a police officer.