Desperate bid continues

Fifty-two people including 15 Rohingyas were detained in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar in the last two days for allegedly taking perilous sea journeys to Malaysia in quest of jobs.

Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) foiled their illegal immigration attempts just a couple of weeks after the capsize of a Malaysia-bound engine boat in the Bay. At least three jobseekers were killed and over 50 still remain missing in the incident.

Coast guard officials said they picked up 36 people around 1:00pm yesterday about three nautical miles off the St Martin’s island. Of them, 21 including three crew members are Bangladeshi and the rest are Rohingya.

The law enforcers also seized the engine boat the jobseekers were travelling in.

Murtaza of Shahparir Dwip took money from the fortune-seekers and lured them into taking the journey to Malaysia, said Lt Badruddoza, Teknaf station officer of coast guard quoting detainee Rashid Ahmed of Cox’s Bazar.

Earlier on Wednesday, BGB officials rounded up 16 other suspected jobseekers from Habirchhara and Katabania coasts in Teknaf while they were preparing to set off for Malaysia by the sea, reports a correspondent in Cox’s Bazar.

Coast guard and BGB officials said legal measures would be taken against the detained Bangladeshis, while the Rohingyas would be sent back to Myanmar.

According to official statistics, coast guard arrested 80 people and seized four engine-boats for attempting illegal journey to Malaysia in one year until last month.

Besides, members of BGB 42 Battalion rescued 209 others as of yesterday from September.

Local sources said some people and illegal Myanmar citizens in the area often risk their lives on illegal trips to Malaysia in search of a better future there. But they end up either being drowned in the sea or arrested by the security men in Thailand, Singapore or Malaysia.

Source: The Daily Star

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