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Bangladesh rescues Rohingya illegally heading for Malaysia

AP  |  Cox's Bazar 

Police are interrogating six people suspected of human trafficking after Bangladeshi guards separately rescued nearly 50 Rohingya refugees from boats heading for through the Bay of Bengal, an said Thursday.

Pradip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge at Teknaf, said they were questioning the suspects to learn about a network of smugglers who may be luring refugees from sprawling camps ahead of a plan to repatriate them.

He said 33 refugees including nine children were rescued from a fishing boat near the on Wednesday while another 14 Rohingya were rescued at a day before.

Six suspected Bangladeshi traffickers were also arrested while the rescued refugees were sent back to their camps in the district, he said.

Das said they were lured by the traffickers with promises of marriages and jobs in

He said the rescued refugees told them they paid money to the traffickers who said they would soon land in amid fears that they would have no future in Myanmar's Rakhine state if they are sent back.

and said recently that the countries want to start repatriation of the refugees in a limited scale from mid-November.

Abul Kalam, a senior Bangladeshi repatriation in Cox's Bazar, told that they were readying to start the repatriation of some 2,660 refugees from 485 families on November 15. But many of the refugees are reluctant to go back, fearing persecution and an uncertain future.

More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled since August last year amid an army-led crackdown.

The refugees are seeking UN protection to return home.

and earlier finalised a memorandum of understanding that said the repatriation process must be "safe, voluntary and dignified ... in line with international standards.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, November 09 2018. 00:30 IST