Teknaf, Bangladesh: Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), formerly known as Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), arrested 25 Burmese citizens for illegally entering the country through Shah Puri Dip on January 19 at 1:00 pm, according to an official from the Teknaf Police Station.

The BGB personnel also arrested a Bangladeshi man named Liyakat Ali, age 22, who hails from Kulal Para Village of Shah Puri Dip. The authorities suspect that he is involved in human trafficking.

Later, the arrestees were handed over to the Teknaf police. A case has been lodged against the Burmese nationals for illegally entering the country, according to Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abul Hossain of the Teknaf Police Station.

One of the arrestees said that the group came to Bangladesh after crossing the Naff River in order to look for work in Bangladesh as there is a shortage of work available in Arakan State. However, Bangladeshi authorities believe that the group hoped to make its way to Malaysia by engine boat via Bangladesh.

After being interrogated at Teknaf Police Station, all of the arrestees were sent to Cox’s Bazaar jail, our source said.

The arrestees have been identified as Abdul Amin (18), Azim Ullah (18), Jubair (22), Md. Jubair (18), Eliyas (20), Shamshul Haque (32), Abdul Hakin (30), Rahim Ullah (22), Abul Kasim (28), Akram Ullah (23), Nazim Ullah (20), Hafez Ahmed (32), Anisur Rahman (18), Rahim Ullah (35), Osiur Rahman (18), Md. Tayub (20), Md. Nasim (28), Sayed Hussain (26), Hashim Ullah (24), Abdul Malek (25), Rashidullah (20), Md. Rafique (18), Amir Hussain (55), Azarul Haque (40), and Rahmat Ullah (52).

All of the men are from Maungdaw and Rathedaung Townships of Arakan State, another arrestee said while in Teknaf police custody.

A village elder inside Arakan State said that most of the young people fleeing Burma for Bangladesh and other countries do not want to live under the discrimination of the military junta any longer, as they have had to endure forced labor, restrictions on movement, arbitrary arrest, torture, marriage restrictions, and extortion.