Women & kids among 1,000 illegals dumped on Langkawi island
At least 103 Rohingya women and 61 children were forced to jump into the sea as they made their way to Langkawi since Sunday (May 10).
They were part of a group of more than 1,000 Rohingyas and Bangladeshis who were dumped on the shores of Langkawi after being held captive in the Thai jungle for weeks.
In nearby Aceh, Indonesian authorities intercepted a boat with at least 970 people onboard, including 83 women and 41 children, said a local disaster management agency official called Darsa.
AFP reported that one of the women was even pregnant.
A young Rohingya boy looks on as he waits along with other immigrants at a temporary detention center in Langkawi. PHOTO: AFP
Activists and refugee groups say many migrants are stuck on overcrowded ships or risk being dumped at sea by nervous smugglers.
“Thailand has tried to prevent traffickers from continuing their business... so that has forced them to go somewhere else,” said Chris Lewa from The Arakan Project, a Rohingya rights group that believes thousands more may be at sea.
Migrants are “just trying to disembark before they die", she added.
The migrants have to endure horrible conditions, according to The Star Online, the migrants were forced to land on the beached of Langkawi, drenched exhausted and starving.
Langkawai police chief told AFP that their police intelligence indicates there are more boats that want to come in.
Malaysians authorities have roped in local fisherman to see if there are any future sighting of immigrants.
This sudden influx of migrants comes as Thailand, a key stop on a Southeast Asian people-smuggling route, cracks down following the discovery of mass graves that laid bare the extent of the thriving trade.
Sources: AFP, The Star Online