Man Found Dead on Boat Drifting off Arakan Coast

By Moe Myint 16 February 2017

Police in Arakan State’s Gwa Township discovered a drifting boat containing nine men and a dead body on Wednesday afternoon near the coastal village of Zee Kone.

The men—of whom six are thought to be aged 20 to 30 and three aged 40 to 50— were arrested and are being held in Gwa Township Police Station, according to police official Naing Lay Ko.

Police are awaiting an interpreter to assist with questioning as the detained men cannot speak Burmese or Arakanese, he added. Police believe the boat came from Bangladesh.

The dead man’s body was sent to Gwa Township hospital for post-mortem examination, but investigators believe he died from starvation.

“The boat’s engine was not working, and the men had made sails out of blankets,” Naing Lay Ko said. “I think they had been at sea several days without food. When we took them ashore, they immediately asked for water and drank a lot.”

Zee Kone village administrator U Maung Ngay said fishermen from his village first spotted the boat about 3pm Wednesday and informed the authorities because the boat did not look like an Arakanese fishing vessel.

He added that on board were a damaged fishing net, a cooking pot, and some dishes.

“I think they lost their way and came here,” U Maung Ngay said.

Zee Kone village is the native town of Arakan State Chief Minister U Nyi Pu.