A total of 155 Bangladeshi trafficking victims who were rescued by Myanmar from the sea were repatriated home today.
Myanmar’s immigration department and Border Guard Police (BGP) handed over them to Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) this afternoon.
A 10-member BGB delegation who had gone to Muangdaw in Myanmar in this regard returned with the Bangladeshis around 3:30pm, reports our Cox’s Bazar correspondent.
They were brought back through Gumdum border in Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban, says a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The hand over took place after a brief flag meeting at Bekubunia BGP camp. The BGB delegation, led by BGB-17 Commanding Officer Lt Col Md Rabiul Islam, went to Muangdaw around 10:45am.
After bringing them, BGB officials handed over them to Cox’s Bazar Additional District Magistrate Sheikh Farid Ahmed and Cox’s Bazar additional superintendent of Police Tofayel Ahmed.
Md Ali Hossain, deputy commissioner and Superintendent of Police Syamol Kumar Nath told The Daily Star that they will be kept at Cox’s Bazar Cultural Centre.
The Bangladeshis will be handed over to their families after police verification tomorrow, Superintendent of Police Syamol Kumar Nath hoped.
This batch of 155 Bangladeshis, all on a voyage to Malaysia and Thailand to seek fortune, were rescued from Myanmar's sea territory by Myanmar Navy on May 29.
Later, the Myanmar authorities sent to the Bangladesh authorities a list of 528 people who intended to return to Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh government after completing the police verification, decided to repatriate the 155 Bangladeshis out of 528.
Earlier on June 8 and 19, Myanmar authorities handed over 150 and 37 Bangladeshis.
With this group, the total number of repatriated Bangladeshi nationals from Myanmar stood at 342.
The entire repatriation process was overseen by the foreign ministry by maintaining close coordination with the home ministry, BGB, local police and local district administration.