People smugglers active in Rohingya camps

Abdur Rahman, Teknaf
Published : 03:00, Nov 09, 2018 | Updated : 03:00, Nov 09, 2018

Rashida Begum, a Rohingya refugee woman walks on the Kutupalong camp in Cox`s Bazar, Bangladesh, August 24, 2018. REUTERSWith the arrival of winter, the sea is calm and taking this chance, the human trafficking groups have become active. Targeting the Rohingyas, a new game of deception has taken form. On 6 November, Tuesday, BGB has rescued 14 Rohingyas from the Teknaf coast. Trafficking groups took money from these people with promises to take them to Malaysia.
After two days at sea, these people were left near the Teknaf coast with the belief that they have arrived in Thailand. Of the 14 were five women. Each of them paid Tk. 10,000 to the traffickers.
On 7 November, 33 Rohingya women and children were arrested by Coastguards along with six middlemen.
Of the persons rescued, there are ten women and nine children. It was found that they belong to Ukhia and Teknaf Rohingya camps.
A Rohingya woman hides her face in Teknaf, Bangladesh, June 25, 2018. REUTERS/In 2015, hundreds of Bangladeshis were detained when they were trying to go to Malaysia illegally by sea. Many died on the way due to starvation and thirst. The Kochubonia ghat in Teknaf came to be known as Malaysia airport as many people boarded boats headed for Malaysia from this spot.
After the law enforcers took a zero tolerance policy, trafficking came down to nil. However, now BGB feels that, after a hiatus, traffickers are trying to dupe Rohignyas living in Cox’s Bazaar.
Two leaders of Leda and Kutupalong camp say that in the last two months, at least 10 women and children went missing from the camps but their whereabouts are not known.
Development Committee chairman of Leda Rohingya camp, Abdul Motaleb, says: “many of the disappearances do not even come to us.”
Another chairman of the Ukhia camp observed that it’s impossible to immediately know of someone’s disappearance.
According to Rohingya Refugee and Rehabilitation Commissioner, in the last one year, 58 thousand people fled the camp with 54559 caught while 3211 detained from other areas of the country.
All of them were returned to the camp.
Form the rescued 14 Rohingya members, BGB has found the name of one trafficker – Mohamamd Aayub Ali, a resident of Ukhia camp.
It’s believed that currently there are several human traffickers active in the camps.