Law enforcers rescued some 62 Rohingyas, including children and women, in two drives in Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua and Teknaf upazilas early yesterday while they were being trafficked to Malaysia.
At least 45 Rohingya refugees were rescued from Ujantiya area Pekua upazila, said Jakir Hossain Bhuiyan, officer-in-charge of Pekua Police Station.
Informed by locals, a police team raided Karimdad Mia’s jetty around 1:30am and rescued at least 45 Rohingyas who had gathered there to board a Malaysia-bound vessel, the OC added.
All the rescued refugees confessed to the police that they had fled from the Kutupalong Rohingya camp, the OC told The Daily Star, adding that they were sent back to their camps.
Meanwhile, a coast guard team arrested 17 Rohingya refugees from St Martin’s Island in Teknaf upazila.
Teknaf Station Commander Lt Fayezul Islam Mandal told The Daily Star that they had rescued the refugees while they were waiting for a trawler at the beach around midnight.
The trawler was supposed to take them to the deep sea from where a ship would carry them to Malaysia, he also said.
Coast guard members also detained five people on suspicion of attempting to traffic the refugees and handed them over to Teknaf Police Station, said the coast guard CO.
The detainees -- Mohiuddin, 51, Abdul Khalek, 60, Mubarak, 32, Amin Sharif, 27 and Shawkat Akbar, 45 -- are from different upazilas in Cox’s Bazar.
Law enforcers said they had rescued at least 362 Malaysia-bound Rohingya refugees since March 1.