Teknaf, Bangladesh: Sixteen Bangladeshi nationals were sent back to their country by the Burmese authorities without any knowledge of the Bangladesh authorities on a trawler on February 23 after they completed their jail terms, sources said.

Six years ago, they were arrested from Naff River by Burma’s border security force, Nasaka, while they were fishing in Burma’s territorial waters, said a local.

They were sentenced to five to six years in prison by the court. After completing their jail term, they were released by Burmese officials without a meeting with Bangladeshi authorities, sources said.

After their arrest the Bangladesh authorities had sent letters to the Burmese officials, but there was no response, sources said.

Earlier, the Burma’s border security force, or Nasaka arrested many Bangladeshi fishermen while they were fishing in Bangladesh territorial waters such as in River Naff and Bay of Bengal. However, some were released after flag meeting between two countries.

A trawler transported the 16 Bangladeshi nationals and reached Bangladesh, where the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) was on duty. But, the trawler left for Burma again, said a close aide of the authorities in Teknaf.

After reaching Bangladesh, seven members were re-arrested by BDR for investigation. They are identified as:  Nozu Meah (22), Shajalal (25), Shajan (20), Boshir (30), Sayed Alam (26), Md. Rafique (20), and Kutub Uddin (28). However, nine others managed to escape. They all belong to Teknaf union of Cox’s Bazaar district, he added.