Burma Times Correspondent: May 13, 2015
13 Rohingya refugees have been kidnapped from Bangladesh, according to the relative of a victim.
Noor Kayas, a Rohingya woman who recently crossed over from Burma gave a disturbing account of how her husband Md Mofiz along with 12 other male refugees were kidnapped by alleged human traffickers near the Teknaf port of Bangladesh.
On Thursday, at late night, a group of refugees crossed over into Bangladesh territory from Kayenkhali in Maungdaw. There were 13 men, 12 women and a few infants in the group.
As they entered Bangladesh territory, the traffickers and boatmen asked them to keep silent so as not to draw the attention of Bangladesh Border Guards.
For close to two hours, the group kept low in a place called Laldiya. Then seven men armed with machetes appeared out of the darkness and ordered the men to follow them.
At this point, the women started crying but the traffickers said that they were not actually been threatened but taking the men to a safe zone as the Bangladesh security forces were nearby. They said that if the women continued to make noises, security would apprehend them all.
But during the darkness, the rest of the trafficking gang slowly crept away leaving the women and children by themselves. As the first light came, the women started shouting and looking for the man but found no one. Locals who saw them said that it is better if they left the place as soon as possible because the Bangladesh Border Guards were sure to arrest them.
As they fled the area, Noor and her five month infant became separated from the others. Also while others had relatives in Bangladesh, Noor had no acquaintances in the country.
For the next few days, Noor wandered the Teknaf area crying with fear and begging for help. Sympathetic locals gave her food and even temporary shelter but said they could not help her further. They also advised her to stay clear of the police.
On Monday, a few Bengali men told her that it would be best to hide among other Rohingyas. She was given money to go to the Nayapara refugee camp where she arrived on Tuesday.
Locals at Nayapara refugee camp said it is likely that the kidnapped refugees will be put on a boat in the Bay of Bengal.