The Bangladesh Navy yesterday seized an engine boat and a fishing trawler in Chittagong Port’s outer anchorage, and took into custody seven migrant smugglers and 15 migrants en route to Malaysia.
A Navy press release said a Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) team intercepted the vessels around 12am during a patrol mission.
The SWADS team netted the two boats, whose movements were deemed “suspicious,” after giving them chase.
The migrants and smugglers were handed over to Patenga police station, and the boat and trawler were handed over to Chittagong Customs House, the press release said.
The intercepted illegal migrants were handed over to their families after police verification, he said.
The migrant smugglers – Dinesh Chandra Jaladas, 35, and Mohammad Sohel, 20, of Noakhali and Mohammad Ayub, 28, Golam Kader, 28, Omar Faruk, 25, Erfan Hossain, 25, and Alam, 30, of Cox’s Bazar – were sued in a case lodged with Patenga police station under sections 6, 7 and 8 of the Human Trafficking Prevention and Control Act, 2012, police said.
Dinesh, found with 85 Yaba pills in his possession, also faces a drug case, Patenga police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Kazi Shahabuddin said.
A Police Headquarters Anti-Human Trafficking Special Committee report from 2014, said 4,500 illegal migrants were intercepted in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong district over the last five years.