Bruer Island, Thailand (BBN)-Myanmar’s navy has rescued more than a hundred Bangladeshi boat people from a southern island, reports HNGN.
The Bangladeshi migrants were found on Bruer Island, near the Thailand border, between June 30 and July 12, the government-owned Global New Light of Myanmar said on Tuesday, according to the DPA news agency.
“Some said they were forcibly taken from their country while others reported having been enticed by traffickers to work in Malaysia,” the paper said, according to Agence France Press. The traffickers abandoned them on the island in early June.
“The navy is searching the areas and the victims will be sent back to their home country,” the state media said, according to Reuters. Myanmar authorities found all of the boat people to be from Bangladesh and said that they would be sent back to Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh mission in Yangoon, however, said they had no official information about migrants.
“We have just received the news from the media. We have received no confirmation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” a mission official told Reuters.
Last month, Myanmar had sent back more than 180 Bangladeshi migrants who it had found abandoned off its territorial waters.
Thousands of Rohingya – a persecuted Muslim minority living in Rakhine state – have fled Myanmar on boats in recent years.
Around 130,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the country by sea as per United Nations figures, according to Anadolu Agency.
Myanmar does not recognize Rohingya as citizens and prefers to call them ‘Bengali’ (people from Bangladesh).