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Boat capsizes, at least 100 missing
Nine charged with trafficking after Bay of Bengal sinkingThe sea is a major transit route for human traffickers from Bangladesh
- ucanews.com reporter Coxâ€™s Bazar
- November 1, 2012
Muhammad Forhad, a local police chief in Coxâ€™s Bazar district, said the boat was allegedly trafficking people to Malaysia.
Although some were Rohingyas displaced by earlier clashes in Rakhine state, Forhad's statement appears to contradict earlier news reports that the passengers were refugees from the latest outbreak of violence.
â€śHalf of the passengers were Rohingya refugees, the rest were residents from Teknaf and Coxâ€™s Bazar,â€ť said Forhad, adding there were only six known survivors.
One of the survivors Abu Bakkar, 25, said the boat capsized in heavy seas and he along with five other people swam to safety.
â€śFishermen rescued us from the sea, but we donâ€™t know what happened to others.â€ť
Forhad said they are still searching for missing passengers and that several of the alleged trafficking ringÂ had been arrested.
â€śEach of the passengers paid 20,000 taka [US$ 245] for 'lucrative' jobs in Malaysia," he said. "Thanks to information provided by the survivors we have pressed human trafficking charges against nine locals.â€ť
According to the Dhaka-based Bangladesh National Women Lawyersâ€™ Association, more than 10,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked out of the country annually.
Human trafficking still a curse in Bangladesh
Caritas Bangladesh tackles trafficking