Sixty one Bangladeshi trafficking victims who were rescued by the Malaysian authorities from the Andaman Sea last month returned home this evening.
A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the victims reached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 5:10pm, BM Jamal Hosssain, director of Welfare and MRP at the foreign ministry’s consular wing, told The Daily Star.
The sixty one Bangladeshis are the first batch among the 715 rescued in the Andaman Sea last month, as their identities have been confirmed through verification, said Hossain.
He further added that the foreign ministry was bearing all the expenses regarding the repatriation of the rescued Bangladeshis from Malaysia and they will be brought back in phases on completion of their nationality verification.
The returnees are from Cox’s Bazar, Sirajganj, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Jessore, Jhenaidah, Chuadanga, Joypurhat, Sayedul Islam, counsellor (Labour Wing) at Bangladesh high commission in Kuala Lumpur told The Daily Star over phone.
“We have arranged the repatriation of 61 rescued migrants after receiving the confirmation of their nationality from Bangladesh. We will send back the rest after getting their nationality confirmation,” he added.
The Bangladeshis were among over 1,051 trafficking victims including Rohingyas 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.
Sayedul said 654 more Bangladeshis are now staying detention centres in Kedah state of Malaysia.
He, however, said they would try to send back all the Bangladeshis before Eid.