Eight Bangladeshi and Rohingya people, including four boatmen, were arrested in the case
An anti human trafficking lawsuit has been filed against 24 people in connection with the trawler capsize near Saint Martin’s Island in the Bay of Bengal which left 15 Rohingyas dead and many others missing.
Teknaf Coast Guard contingent Commander MS Islam, on Wednesday filed the case with Teknaf police station accusing 19 identified and several other unidentified people, said Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of the police station.
Syed Alam of Noakhailapara of Baharchhara union in Teknaf upazila was named the prime suspect in the case, Pradip said.
Police in a drive from Tuesday night till Wednesday morning, arrested eight people for their alleged involvement in human trafficking.
Eight Bangladeshi and Rohingya people, including four boatmen, were arrested in the case, the OC said.
“We’ve started probing the case and initiated raids to arrest the others accused,” he said.
Meanwhile, another Rohingya man was rescued from the Bay of Bengal in the morning. Apart from the victims, 73 people, including four boatmen, were rescued, while around 50 are still feared missing.
The victims, including 12 women and three children, died risking their lives being lured by human traffickers to seek their fortunes crossing the seas.
The trawler, presumed to be carrying 138 people, sailed for Malaysia from the Noakhaila Para coastal region of Teknaf upazila around 3am on Tuesday. The trawler later sank 3 nautical miles off the island, according to Lt Commander Nayeemul Haq of Bangladesh Coast Guard's Saint Martin's Island station.
Bangladesh has been hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in camps in Cox's Bazar. Of them, more than 730,000 Rohingyas crossed over to Bangladesh in the latest exodus which began in August 2017, fleeing violent persecution by Myanmar security forces and civilians.