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December 03, 2021

From 17 miles northwest of Mayu Island in Sittwe, Rakhine State, Burmese navy chased and caught a trafficking boat carrying 228 Rohingya people on November 9, at around 6 am, and the boat people were jailed by Burmese authorities, an activist from Maungdaw reports.

The Burmese navy caught the boat Wadi Tun-5 while five Burmese nationals were driving it heading to Malaysia via Myanmar territorial water after loading 70 men, 125 women, 19 boys and 14girls on it from a beach in Moheshkhali, Cox’s Bazar district , Bangladesh.

The trafficked victims were taken to Kanyin Chaung harbor of Shwe Zar Village Tract in Maungdaw at night, the activist added.

On November 30, Border Guard Police (BGP) Camp-1 took the adults to Buthidaung Prison by prison vans charging them with illegally crossing border under Section 13/1.

Minors are being held in the BGP camp, said the locals.

A local human trafficking watchdog said: “A large number of people were arrested this time. The boat was neither stranded nor faced unexpected problem. Authorities may have caught and seized the boat because they did not get a share from the traffickers.

β€œTraffickers will not be able to use Burmese territorial water if they are always hunted down like this. It is ridiculous that the victims are always prosecuted in lieu of identifying and prosecuting the traffickers. I think Burmese authorities may also involve in human trafficking because they are ignoring the crackdown on traffickers.”

Once it also happened that some Burmese authorities directly took money from Rohingyas who wanted to go into exile and had gathered them somewhere and put them on a boat, according to some locals.

Reported By: Maung Wunna

Edited By: Md. Shuaib