26 Detained in Thabaung on Immigration Charges

By Salai Thant Zin 12 May 2015

PATHEIN — Irrawaddy Division police officers have arrested 14 ethnic Rohingya alongside 12 other people suspected of bringing them from a relief camp in the Arakan State capital of Sittwe to Thabaung Township.

Police alleged that the group of 14 and two minders were preparing to travel to Rangoon by river from Thaebyu village when they were arrested on May 4. Further investigations led to the arrest of 10 more suspects alleged to be involved in the group’s passage. Three children are among those detained, according to Zaw Win, head of the township police force.

“Brokers in Sittwe asked [one of the suspects] to transport the group for one million kyats (US$921) each,” he said.

Most of the group of 14 can speak Burmese and were able to relate the names of their parents and their addresses in Rakhine State. At the time of the arrest, they were unable to furnish police with either their national identity cards or white cards.

The Thabaung Township Immigration Department head has filed a complaint against the detainees and the police station has charged all 26 under the Immigration Act.