Narinjara news

Bangladesh returns a Burmese Military Intelligence-owned Smuggling vessel at a Flag Meeting

Maungdaw, 26 February: 
On February 15th, after a flag meeting held between the officials of the Nasaka (Burmese Border Security Forces) and BDR (Bangladesh Rifles border security forces) at a hotel in Teknaf, the border town opposite Maungdaw Town on the Naaf River, the BDR handed over a smuggling vessel owned by the Burmese Military Intelligence, our border correspondent at Maungdaw quoted a source in the Burmese Army.

The flag meeting began at eleven in the morning and lasted for an hour.  Captain Kyaw Zeya led the Burmese side composed of seven participants and Subadar Abul Kalam Azad led seven-member Bangladesh side.

The two sides discussed bilateral issues on the recent developments on both sides of the common Naaf River, where there are no delineation of the international border. The Bangladesh side handed over the Saw Mratt Radana motor vessel and its six-member crew to the Burmese counterparts.  The Burmese side also handed over one Aman Ullah, son of Nur Muhammad, who was captured and awarded a sentence of five years’ RI on February 12, on charges of illegal entry, to the Bangladeshi border troops.

Though it is not usual for the Burmese junta officials to demand return of the captured vessels from Burma, the prompt demand for the return of the Saw Mratt Radana vessel was made because the vessel was owned by the Burmese Intelligence battalion MI 18, our correspondent quoted sources in the military.  The vessel was captured a few weeks ago on Bangladesh side on charges of cross-border smuggling.  There are wide allegations that the Western Commander Brigadier Maung Oo also had shares in the cross-border smuggling done on the vessel. 

Sources in the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf said that there have never been any instances of demanding the captured vessels back from Bangladesh before.  At present there are about seven hundred Burmese prisoners in the prisons of Bangladesh most of whom have been jailed on charges of cross-border smuggling and illegal entry, said a Burmese national who recently was released from a Bangladeshi jail.  The Burmese junta have not recognized these prisoners who have overstayed their prison terms by as much as seven/eight years as their own citizens, complicating the repatriation process, he concluded.  #