Fifteen people drowned on Tuesday (Feb 11), when their trawler capsized off the island of Saint Martin. They were trying to go to Malaysia. In the accident, 72 others were rescued.
The passengers were supposed to be transported to a big ship anchored at sea. But that did not happen due to ferocious wind. When the boat was coming back, it hit a rock and sank.
The main boatman of the ill-fated vessel Faez Ahmed, said: “The owners of the boat are human traffickers and have been living in Malaysia for a long time.”
Most of the passengers of the trawler were from the Roginya camps.
Coast Guard station commander, Lt Cdr Sohel Rana, said: “The survivors are being questioned.”
A UNHCR report says that between January 2018 and January 2019, more than 1,500 people crossed the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea which is fifty times more that the time period between 2013 and 2015.
President of the Teknaf Leda Development Management Committee, Mohammad Alam, said: “The tendency to go to Malaysia for a better life was always present among the Rohingyas.”
Additional police SP of Cox’s Bazar, Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, observed: “We are concerned about the renewed trafficking of Rohingyas; the police are on the field and surveillance has been raised at the Rohingya camps.”