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Dhaka Tribune

625 people en route to Malaysia held

Update : 17 Nov 2014, 07:51 PM

Bangladesh Navy yesterday afternoon detained 625 people from a fishing trawler off the St Martin’s Island as they were travelling to Malaysia illegally.

Assistant Director (Navy wing) of Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate Syeda Tapushi Rabeya Lopa told the Dhaka Tribune a Myanmar flag was hoisted in the trawler.

Navy sources said the detainees were expected to be brought back to Chittagong city by this morning and the navy would arrange a press briefing to disclose the details of the operation afterwards.

BNS Durjoy, a navy ship, conducted the operation around 12 at noon and detained the 625, including children and women, and their identities would be verified after handing them over to the police, sources added.

The multi-storey trawler was 25 metres long and human traffickers were also suspected to be among the detainees.

More than 1,000 people en route to Malaysia illegally have been detained in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar since September.

Trafficking spikes after the rainy season as the sea remains calm, Deputy Commissioner Harun-ur-Rashid Hajaree of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (port zone) told the Dhaka Tribune.  

“Traffickers mainly target people who are poor, illiterate and unemployed. These people pay a huge sum of money to traffickers to travel to foreign countries in search of better wages living conditions,” he added. 

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