Bangladesh Coast Guard on Tuesday rescued 30 Rohingyas from a boat drifting in the Bay of Bengal near Teknaf of Cox's Bazar while making a trip from Bangladesh to Malaysia.
According to the coast guard, the rescued Rohingyas are residents of refugee camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar.
Among the Rohingya people, five were children, five men and 20 women.
Till 1:00pm, the rescued people were kept under the coast guard custody at Baharchhar in Teknaf upazia. They were being handed over to the police at the time.
Confirming the news, Hafizur Rahman, the officer in-charge at Teknaf police station, told Prothom Alo that human traffickers contacted Rohingya men and young women, luring them of jobs and eligible bridegrooms in Malaysia.
The aspirant migrants were taken by small fishing boats to a mid-sized trawler adrift at sea.
The trawler with the 30 Rohingyas would have reached a Malaysia-bound larger vessel, but it was attacked by pirates. The trawler crew were adrift at sea.
Tipped-off, coastguard personnel rescued the Rohingyas and brought them to the Teknaf shore.
One rescued woman informed the law enforcement personnel that one month ago she got married online with a young man who was settled in Malaysia.
That woman was set to sail to Malaysia to meet the young man (her husband). She had already paid Tk30,000 to a trafficking agent.
But because of the pirate attack, she had to return to Teknaf without reaching her husband.
Another rescued Rohingya man Mostafa said some trafficking agents brought them to the coast after taking Tk 20,000-30,000 from each. Then they were divided into groups and taken to a fishing trawler by small fishing boats.
The trawler with 30 Rohingya people was sailing towards the deep sea as there was a ship which came from Thailand with imported products– waiting for the illegal migrants.
Mid-way, pirates attacked the trawler. The pirates snatched money and gold ornaments from the Rohingyas and left the trawler adrift after damaging its engine.
According to the rescued people, the trawlers had been adrift at sea for several days. Coastguards rescued them on 27 April morning and brought to Teknaf shore.
Teknaf upazila parishad chairman Nurul Alam said that human traffickers have become active as the Bay of Bengal currently remains calm and fishing in the deep is halted due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
“Traffickers help young women migrate illegally to Malaysia after luring them with promises of marriage with eligible men,” Nurul Alam added.