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Malaysian authorities today (8th April) were on the lookout for boats believed to be carrying up to 200 Rohingya near a beach in the country’s north.

Scores of Rohingya 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.

Forty-one Rohingya men and boys, aged between 14 and 30, were detained on Monday near the town of Simpang Empat after landing at Sungai Belati beach, state police chief Noor Mushar Mohamad said in a statement. Thirty-five Rohingya landed at the same beach last month in the northern state of Perlis, bordering Thailand.

More boats carrying about 200 Rohingya are believed to be at sea, Mr Noor Mushar said.

β€œIf we find them in our waters, we will bring them to shore,” he said, adding that it was not clear if this group was travelling from Bangladesh or Burma.

More than 800,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017 fleeing genocidal operations in Burma’s Arakan state.

Read more from the source: The Straits Times