103 more Bangladeshi trafficking victims return from Myanmar

One hundred and three more Bangladeshis, who were rescued by the Myanmar navy in its coastal areas in May, returned home yesterday.

Over the handover of the 103 who hail from 17 different districts of across Bangladesh, a commander-level flag meeting was held between the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Department of Myanmar Immigration and National Registration near zero point of Ghumdhum border in Naikhyanchhari sub-district of Bangladesh's Bandarban district in the morning.

The Myanmar authorities handed over the Bangladeshis to the BGB around 1:30pm.

Among the 103 returnees, 31 are from Bogra district, 13 from Shariatpur, 12 from Narsingdi, nine from Jhenidah, seven from Narayanganj, six from Habiganj, four from Chittagong, three each from Joypurhat, Madaripur and Sunamganj, two each from Brahmanbaria, Bandarban, Gaibandha, Chandpur and Chuadanga, and one each from Feni and Pabna, said Asif Muneer, national programme officer of International Organisation for Migration.

Maj Imran Ullah Sarker, acting commander of 17 BGB Battalion in Cox's Bazar district, led the BGB team in the meeting.

Later, the Bangladeshi nationals were handed over to Cox's Bazar police for completion of legal procedures, said the BGB official.

They were then taken to the temporary camp set up at Cox's Bazar Cultural Centre.

They would start handing over the returnees to their relatives from tomorrow [today] after interrogating them, said Shyamal Kumar Nath, superintendent of Cox's Bazar police.

Myanmar navy rescued 935 people from the waters of that country while they were going to Malaysia illegally by sea. Of them, some 729 Bangladeshis have been sent back to the country from Myanmar in seven phases after verification of their identities.

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