COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh
Islam said the boat was one of two vessels that was making the hazardous journey.
“We have found one capsized boat. All of them were mainly from the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. We haven’t found any sign of the second boat yet. We will continue our operation,” Islam said.
“They were lured by traffickers,” border guard commander Faisal Hasan Khan said.
Malaysia is the favoured destination of the Rohingya as it is a Muslim majority nation and has a sizeable Rohingya diaspora. With few opportunities for jobs and education in the camps, thousands have attempted to reach other countries in Southeast Asia.
Since last year, Bangladesh’s law enforcement agencies have picked up over 500 Rohingya from coastal villages and boats as they waited to board boats.
At least seven suspected traffickers were shot dead in 2019 in clashes with police. Trafficking often increases during the November-March period when the sea is safest for the small fishing trawlers used in the risky trips.