47 trafficking victims return from Thailand
A total of 47 Bangladeshi human trafficking victims, who had been rescued by the Thai authorities last year from Andaman Sea, returned Dhaka from Bangkok this evening.
A flight of Bangladesh Biman carrying them landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 7:50pm, Shakil, an official of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) confirmed The Daily Star.
BM Jamal Hossain, director (Welfare &MRP) at the foreign ministry, said the Bangladeshis were brought back after the confirmation of their nationality through police verification.
“They were rescued last year by Thai authorities. Our mission in Bangkok started the procedure of their repatriation through the police verification on November last year,” Jamal Hossain added.
The Bangladeshis were in Thai detention centres after they were rescued from the sea, he said. Officials at the foreign ministry and representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will be present at the airport to receive them.
Among the returnees, 10 hailed from Jessore, nine from Sunamganj, nine from Sirajganj, six from Jhenaidah; two each from Narsingdi, Mymensingh, Meherpur, and Cox’s Bazar; and one each from Tangail, Faridpur, Shariatpur, Madaripur, and Bogra districts, said a press release of Bangladesh embassy in Bangkok.
The government has arranged the repatriation of the rescued Bangladeshis by carrying their airfare, said Saida Muna Tasneem, Bangladesh ambassador in Bangkok.
The embassy has been working in close cooperation with Thai authorities to ensure successive repatriation of more than 197 already verified Bangladeshis by the end of June, she added.
The embassy has so far repatriated 872 Bangladeshis trafficked into Thailand since the end of 2013.
It has also repatriated 33 Bangladeshis since the discovery of mass graves at Thailand-Malaysia border on May 1, 2015.
The ambassador visited Songkhla province for the second time on June 10 with a consular team of the embassy to interview and inquires about the well-being of 117 self-identified Bangladeshis most of whom have been freshly rescued since early May.
She has been working relentlessly to expedite return of all the stranded Bangladeshis in Thailand at the shortest possible time.
The embassy will continue to interview remaining 203 self-identified Bangladeshis in Thailand for their early repatriation to Bangladesh.