56 Burmese Muslims Arrested on Boat

Narinjara News

The Burmese border security force, Nasaka, arrested 56 Burmese Muslims on a boat Wednesday evening as they were heading to Malaysia to look for work, a Nasaka source reported.

Among them, five are from Bangladesh and 51 are from Burma's Maungdaw, a western border town near Bangladesh.

A Nasaka commander from the regional five areas, Major Sein Win, arrested them on the boat at the mouth of the Naff River while the Nasaka team was patrolling the sea, said the Nasaka source.

The boat had left for Malaysia from Teknaf, a border town of Bangladesh opposite Maungdaw, around 2 a.m. on 13 December. A day later the boat engine failed just northwest of Akyab, the capital of Arakan State.

After the engine failure the boat floated on the sea for five days. On 19 December, two fishing boats from Akyab saw the boat and dragged it to the coastal area of Maungdaw upon request.

At that time, the Nasaka patrol team saw the boat being dragged by another two boats on the sea, and seized the boat and arrested the passengers and crew.

Nasaka sources said the individuals confessed that they were going to Malaysia to look for work, and had paid 300,000 kyats to the boat owner for the passage.

Recently, nearly 200 Burmese Muslims from northern Arakan were also arrested in Thailand, as they were en route to Malaysia to look for jobs.