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Myanmar frontier guards repatriate 30 Bangladeshis PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 31 March 2008

Agency

The Myanmar border security force handed over 30 Bangladeshi nationals to the Bangladesh Riffles Sunday after they drifted into Myanmar territory with their boat broken down at sea.

Nasaka, the Myanmar border security force, repatriated the group at the Naf River in Teknaf upazila, Cox's Bazar. The Bangladeshi nationals were picked up by members of Nasaka on the Myanmar coast about two months ago.

It has been assumed that the group was trying to sneak into Malaysia through an illegal sea route. "The BDR came to know that 30 Bangladeshis had been detained by Nasaka through a letter from the force," BDR's deputy commander Major Mohammad Amin told reporters in Teknaf.

The BDR confirmed the incident through local sources before making a written request to Nasaka to return the nationals. Nurul Islam, one of the repatriated men, told the reporters they had been making their way to Malaysia from the Teknaf coast when they ran into trouble.

"After a few days the engine on our fishing trawler broke down and we drifted to the Myanmar coast where Nasaka arrested us," said Islam.

However, Major Amin said none of the group had officially admitted to attempting to make their way illegally to Malaysia, although such a large number of individuals in a single trawler obviously raised suspicions.

"When we handed them over to the police we requested them to unearth the reasons for the journey," said Major Amin. The BDR officer added that the 30 Bangladeshi nationals were handed over to Teknaf Police Station at 2.30pm. Mohammad Jasim Uddin, the officer in charge of Teknaf Police Station said they would be conducting a full investigation into the matter, although the group may be released relatively soon.

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