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Boat used to smuggle Rohingya to Langkawi owned by local man, say police

(Photo: Reuters)

June 25, 2015

One of the two boats used to smuggle more than 1,000 Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to Langkawi last month, was owned by a local man, said Kedah police chief Datuk Zamri Yahya.

"It (the boat) is registered in the name of a Malaysian who is now under police custody."

He, however, did not disclose details or the date of arrest of the man to facilitate the investigation, but he was believed to have been detained under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007.

All the 1,158 Bangladeshis and Rohingya refugees, including children and women who landed in Langkawi on May 10, are now detained at the Belantik Immigration Detention Depot in Sik, Kedah.

Recently, 61 Bangladeshi men who had boarded the boat involved were deported to their home country.

Asked whether the boat owner was the mastermind behind the human trafficking, Zamri said police were still investigating his involvement.

The police investigation was still centred on the boat registered in his name which was used to bring illegal immigrants to the resort island, he added.

Recently, nine Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were also arrested in relation to police investigation on the landing of boats carrying illegals to Langkawi last month.

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