COX'S BAZAR- Authorities on Tuesday said that Bangladeshi police prevented dozens of Rohingya Muslims, most of them women, about to be trafficked to Malaysia by boat.
Traffickers had picked up at least 69 Rohingya from refugee camps in the Cox`s Bazar district, promising them to work in Malaysia where many Rohingya already live, according to the police.
Scores of Rohingya Muslims have boarded boats in recent months to try to reach Malaysia, part of what authorities fear could be a new wave of people smuggling by sea after a 2015 crackdown on trafficking. An estimated 25,000 Rohingya crossed the Andaman Sea for Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in 2015, many drowning in unsafe and overloaded boats.
"After getting information from a secret source, our team carried out an operation last night and rescued them," police officer Abul Khair told Reuters, adding that there were 43 women and 11 children. They would be returned to camps. Police did not arrest any traffickers.