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Buthidaung — The transnational trafficking network in southeast Asia enticing especially Rohingya genocide survivors has been not only revived but also giving ‘business class’ services, according to a survivor interviewed by Rohingya Vision recently.

The Thailand-based network that has been inactive and perhaps watching the situation since the government’s crackdown on it has come up with new services including survival foods, one-to-one trafficker or smaller grouping, motor rides (no walking on foot) and express arrival.

Futuni (not real name, featured image), 17, from Let Wea Det Pyin Shey of Buthidaung who was promised to be given those services on additional payment has reached the destination sound and safe.

Yet the journey was terrible and it took her more than one month to arrive Malaysia.

Futuni recalls how her journey was saying “The regular price is 7,500,000 kyat (Some 5,000 USD) and my father paid additional 1,000,000 kyat (about $700) for express trafficking service.”

“We were 100 passengers, 93 female and 7 males, in two boats that can easily carry 30 passengers each. We all were brides except two elderly men. We set off for Akyab (Sittwe) from Buthidaung in the morning and we reached at 6:00 p.m. and at 9:00 p.m. we were brought to a home.”

“The traffickers were Maghs (Rakhines).”

“We waited 13 days in Akyab waiting for a suitable time to leave for Yangon, as there was Myanmar navy in the sea.”

“The boats were at sea for 8 days before we reach the coast of Yangon. In Yangon, the Rakhines agents handed us over to an army captain. In his supervision, we were transferred to a hotel where we stayed one day (daytime only).”

“After the sunset, six of us who made additional payment were separated and within the night we were transferred to Thai-Myanmar border. After crossing the border in early morning, some Thai agents welcomed us who served us breakfast in a home before we leave for Thai-Malay border on a day-long motorbike ride.”

“We crossed the border shortly after the sunset pretending to be locals. In Malaysia, we were locked inside a home. At midnight, some local agents took us to Kuala Lumpur by car.”

“There are contracted local authorities in every station cooperating with the traffickers.”

Futuni was engaged to RJ, a Rohingya youth, in Malaysia whose family migrated to Bangladesh for long time. Before being trafficked by land, she passed about two and half years in Bangladesh attempting to travel by air.

Finally, she has met her ‘king of dream’.

The Rohingyas in their homeland not only face extremely tough restrictions but also are caught in crossfire in the fighting between the local rebels and government army with little access to healthcare, education and livelihoods.

In the camps of Bangladesh, about one million refugees live dire situations forcing them to risk their lives in search of a better life.

Almost all the trafficking victims are females taken for marriages arranged with Rohingya men or family reunion in diaspora.

According observers, hundreds of Rohingya, mostly women, are believed to be trafficked from the camps in Bangladesh or their homeland.

There is a dramatic rise in number, because they are not safe where they are and at the same time, it is hard for them to find a life partner as many males either were killed or imprisoned by the military during the cleansing operation, or fled away escaping those life-threatening persecutions.