Burma Times Correspondent: May 17, 2015
Traffickers holding five Rohingya men and a boy hostage have informed their families that they will be released for Tk 50,000 each.
The call made from a Bangladesh phone number with the prisoners talking to their families have created suspicions that the kidnapped men are still in Bangladesh waters and have not left for Thailand. Also the ransom money is substantially less, those held in Thailand have to pay 170,000 to 200,000 taka for their release.
The call was made to family members on Friday.
The victims are Hamid Hossain (14), Imam Hossain (32), Abdul Hakim (35), Amir Hamza (37), Md Shukkur (18) and Abdul Kader (27). They were kidnapped when they went into the sea on a fishing expedition a few weeks ago. All the victims hail from the coastal area of Shaplapur.
The ongoing crackdown in Thailand have made it very difficult for traffickers to land on the country’ shores and some ships have even come back to Burma and Bangladesh though half way through the journey they run out of essential supplies including food and water. Some other traffickers have abandoned ship taking food and water along with them creating a desperate situation for refugees stuck on board.
In Bangladesh, a few traffickers have been gunned down by police in recent days and many have gone into hiding. However many others, including some prominent Rohingya traffickers are still operating the illegal business. It is an open secret that traffickers are in cohorts with influential people including politicians, policemen, government administrators and so on.