Burma Times Desk Report: May 21, 2015
Despite the crackdown and ‘shootout’ of human traffickers in Bangladesh, some known traffickers have not gone to hiding.
Bangladesh started a crackdown against traffickers as international focus fell on the issue long ignored in this country. Along with Rohingya refugees escaping persecution in Burma, many Bangladeshis are escaping poverty at home to what they see as a bright future in Malaysia and Thailand.
Many of the traffickers are Rohingyas who ventured in this business at least since 2002. The route was first used for transporting fleeing refugees to South East Asia but later many Bangladeshis were lured by promises of a better life.
In recent days, some human traffickers have been shot dead by Bangladesh police. However the masterminds of the criminal enterprises remain out of reach and in the open.
A report by Bangladeshi newspaper Prothom Alo identified 24 human smuggling rings involved in the trafficking business. See http://en.prothom-alo.com/bangladesh/news/66753/24-human-trafficking-ringleaders-still-out-of
A report by Rohingya Vision also identified many traffickers. See http://www.rvisiontv.com/a-list-of-human-traffickers-trafficking-rohingyas-by-boats-2/
The reports come amidst claims by top ranking police officials that human traffickers remain out of reach because they are sheltered by influential people.
Meanwhile refugees in Bangladesh say that because of human traffickers operating openly from Rohingya camps, the entire community is being stigmatised by Bangladeshis.