Burma Times Correspondent: May 27, 2015
Families of twelve Rohingya refugees, kidnapped from the coastal area of Bangladesh expressed concern about their whereabouts after traffickers have cut off all contacts.
In late January, 12 men from Leda refugee camp went to Baharchera for an agricultural day job. The last contact with their families on that day was made by mobile phone as they were coming back in evening. After that they disappeared.
On February 20, their wives received a call from their husbands saying they have been kidnapped by villagers and handed over to traffickers. They said that all twelve of them were in Thailand. At one point of the conversation, the traffickers started torturing the men, making sure that the wives would listen over telephone.
Traffickers demanded 180,000 Bangladesh Taka to stop the torture and release them. As all the families were dependent on a daily agricultural income, they expressed their inability to pay such an amount.
The traffickers continued to call them after a gap of two to three days. During all these telephone conversations, the victims were tortured.
Then suddenly the calls stopped coming.
Many of the wives fear that their husbands have been killed by traffickers. Many locals say they might have been sold as slave labour. Friends and family have tried calling back traffickers but in vain.
The victims are Ali Akbar, Md Sabbir, Alidul Amin, Kasim Ali, Yusuf Ali, Ayub, Hashem Ullah, Ibrahim, Shukkur, Kabir Ahmed and Ali Ullah. Another victim has not been identified.
Recent reports in Bangladesh media have claimed that entire communities in the area are involved in the human trafficking business. The abduction of so many men near the village fuels such suspicion.