Rohingya Jailed After 30 Caught in Myanmar's Ayeyarwady Region

By Salai Thant Zin 4 October 2019

PATHEIN—Ngapudaw Township Court in Ayeyarwady Region has sentenced 21 Rohingya to two-year prison sentences with labor and sent eight teenagers to a youth training school under the 1949 Residents of Burma Registration Act.

Fifteen women and six men were sent to Pathein prison and three males and five females under 18 were sent to Nghat Aww San Youth Training School in Kawhmu Township, Yangon Region, for two years.

All the Rohingya, including a 6-year-old boy, were caught in a Mitsubishi Pajero SUV on Sept. 26, on the Pathein-Nga Yoke Kaung Road. The driver fled after the police stopped the vehicle.

The police said the Rohingya had no proof of identity or citizenship.

The Ayeyarwady police said two of the drivers of a minibus, which was allegedly waiting to take them to Yangon, were arrested and are under police investigation.

“Another driver is still at large and we are trying to arrest him. The drivers are still under investigation and we have yet to charge them,” said Police Major Tun Shwe.

Coastal Nga Yoke Kaung is 100 km southwest of Pathein and south of the Rakhine State coast.

Residents say many Rohingya arrive in Nga Yoke Kaung by boat and continue by road to Yangon through Pathein with the help of agents.

An anonymous resident, who witnessed the arrest of the Rohingya, said they probably arrived by boat because the sea route was the easiest way for the Rohingya to leave Rakhine State.

“There was a minibus waiting for them on the road. The agents planned to take them from the coast in the Pajero to the minibus and they were arrested on the way,” the witness said.

The police say the agents also transport Rohingya through Maw Tin Suun and Thabaung in Ayeyarwady Region.

The police said there were also many arrests of Rohingya illegally traveling from Ann and Gwa townships in Rakhine State on the Pathein-Monywa Highway.

Translated from Burmese by Zarni Mann.

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