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More than 1000 Boat People Arrested in Langkawi, Malaysia

By M.S. Anwar І Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kuala Lumpur (Rohingya Vision) — More than 1000 boat people comprising Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi immigrants were arrested by Malaysian authority in its maritime water off the island of Langkawi yesterday early morning.

The Malaysian authorities rounded up the boat with all one thousand people on board as they tried to enter the country illegally. In the morning, they were all arrested and detained by the Langkawi police.

It has been learnt that there were 100 women and around 55 children. All of the people are aged between 2 and 60.

The reliable inside sources from human trafficking agents say that the people had been earlier detained by the human traffickers in the jungles of Padang Besar in southern Thailand for ransom.

But as the Thai authority started to crack down the human trafficking rings and the secret detention camps in the country’s jungles after the finding of recent mass graves, the human traffickers started to smuggle out the people from the jungles and held them in the boats anchored at the Thai maritime water. From there, since the rations on the boat ran out and due to no insurance of further security, the boat tried to enter Malaysia illegally.

The boat is said to belong to a human trafficker based in Puchong, Selangor state of Malaysia.

Likewise, many boats arriving from Arakan State, Myanmar, are waiting in the Thai water without entering the land for the fear of the arrest by Thai authority. Instead, the traffickers hold the victims on the boats themselves and are asking for ransoms from the relatives of respective victims on the boats. When the rations and fuel on the boats run out, the traffickers simply set the boats adrift to the sea. Such a boat drifted away to the sea with hundreds of victims have recently stranded off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province.

In another separate incident yet to be confirmed, a boat loaded with 50 human traffickers escaping the arrests of Thai authority was said to have been captured by the Malaysian authority yesterday.

Furthermore, there have been reports that many more boats with hundreds of people aboard have been floating in the Bay of Bengal after leaving the coast of Myanmar. [Read reports HERE]

Thousands of the violence hit Rohingyas have left Myanmar to escape the persecution. Besides, more than 20,000 people have died in the sea according to a UNHCR report. 

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