52 Bengali immigrants arrested in Pathein

Authorities arrested 52 Bengalis including 35 Bangladeshis who had immigrated to Ngayokekaung Town, Pathein District, Irrawady Region via the Bay of Bengal on August 19.

The security team comprising the administrator of Ngayokekaung Town, two immigration staff spotted a suspected power schooner near Kalamachan, 50 yards away from Gawyangi island at sea at about 5 pm on August 19 and carried out inspection of the powered boat. Meanwhile, Bengalis jumped in the water and ran to the shore and the boat drove off carrying the remaining Bengalis to the Bay of Bengal, the report said.

Bengalis who ran to the shore totalled 51 and then were taken to Nanthapu Rural Library for questioning. The arrests said that 16 were Bengalis and 35 were Bangladeshis. They jumped into the water and ran to the shore and the power schooner drove off, the report said.

Another one Bengali was found at about 8.30 pm on the same day, bringing the total number to 52.

In connection with the illegal immigration, enquiries were made to Ngaputaw Township Police Force who replied that inspections on illegal immigrants were being carried out.

The arrest of Bangladeshis who immigrated to Myanmar under the pretext of Bengalis is the first time. Some Bangladeshis are trying to immigrate to Myanmar with the false reason of naming Bengali because they want to be Myanmar citizens. International pressure is being put on Myanmar to accept Bangladeshi illegal immigrants. Only ten percent of Bengalis arriving in Thailand telling themselves they come from Myanmar are able to speak Myanmar.


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