A number of 114 Bangladeshi trafficking victims, who were rescued by the Malaysian authorities from the Andaman Sea last May, returned home today.
A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying them landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 5:30am.
The returnees hailed from Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Jessore, Jhenidah, Chuadanga and Joypurhat, Begum Shahida Sultana, first secretary (Labour Wing) at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, told The Daily Star over phone.
With these 114, the total number of the returnees from Malaysia has stood at 620, she said, adding that 96 others will return later.
“We are sending back the rescued migrants, whose nationality verification was confirmed by our government. We will try to send back the rest migrants soon,” she added.
The embassy official said the government was bearing all the expenses regarding the repatriation of the rescued Bangladeshis from Malaysia.
A total of 716 Bangladeshi migrants were among over 1,051 trafficking victims rescued from Langkawi island of Malaysia on May 11. The traffickers had abandoned them in the island after holding them captive in a Thai jungle for weeks.
Over 3,000 Bangladeshis have been rescued in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar in May after the issue of human trafficking through the Bay of Bengal got international media's attention.
Of them, more than 2,000 Bangladeshis returned home from those countries since June. Several thousand Bangladeshis, who had allegedly left home for jobs in Malaysia, still remain missing.