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Bangladeshi citizen arrested for smuggling Rohingya refugees into Aceh

Jakarta Globe - December 8, 2023

BeritaSatu, Banda Aceh – Indonesian authorities have arrested a Bangladeshi national on charges of smuggling 149 Rohingya refugees into the coasts of Aceh in exchange for monetary gains.

Hussain Bakhtiar bin Saber Ahmad, 70, stands accused of receiving approximately Rp 3.3 billion ($213,000) from the refugees, facilitating their entry into Aceh.

He is the captain of a wooden boat that arrived on the Laweung coast in Pidie regency carrying refugees on November 14, after traversing the territorial waters of Bangladesh and Myanmar.

"Each passenger was charged 50,000 takas for a child and 100,000 takas for an adult throughout the journey. This smuggling operation accumulated an estimated Rp 3.3 billion," Pidie District Police Chief Imam Asfali said.

"The boat began its journey from Corg Bazar in Bangladesh, voyaging for seven days before reaching Aceh," Imam added.

Upon arrival, Hussain attempted to evade capture by seeking refuge in the forest. However, law enforcement authorities succeeded in apprehending him. Yet, three of his suspected accomplices, identified as Nababai, Saber, and Zahrangi, remain at large.

Evidence collected by the police includes two wooden boats and a cellular phone, all linked to the smuggling activity.

The incident in November marks an influx of 573 Rohingya refugees who entered Aceh illegally via wooden boats.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/bangladeshi-citizen-arrested-for-smuggling-rohingya-refugees-into-ace