Ninety five more Bangladeshi trafficking victims, who were rescued by the Malaysian authorities from the Andaman Sea last May, returned home today from Kuala Lumpur.
A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying them landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 5:30pm, said officials at International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
They received the returnees at the airport and assisted them with some financial grants from IOM to reach their respective home.
The returnees hailed from Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Jessore, Jhenidah, Chuadanga and Joypurhat, Sayedul Islam, counsellor (Labour Wing) at the Bangladesh High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, told The Daily Star over phone today.
With these 95, the total number of the returnees from Malaysia stood at 441, he said, adding that 96 others will return to Dhaka by another flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines around 5:10pm tomorrow.
“We are sending back the rescued migrants, whose nationality verification was confirmed by our government. We will try to send back around 300 others before Eid,” the counsellor added.
He added that the government was bearing all the expenses regarding the repatriation of the rescued Bangladeshis from Malaysia.
A total of 715 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 1,000 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 600 Bangladeshis returned home from those countries since June. Several thousand Bangladeshis, who had allegedly left home for jobs in Malaysia, still remain missing.