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Mizzima: Smugglers robbed at Bangla

Smugglers robbed at Bangladesh-Burma water

Dhaka, July 13, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

A gang of robbers at Bangladesh-Burma water looted a Burmese boat
carrying smuggled goods from Arakan State of Burma to Bangladesh on July
8. The boat was carrying two hundred rice bags and forty tons of hard
woods from Sittwe town of Burma to Taknaf town of Bangladesh. The
incident occurred nearby Shinmapru Island in the Bangladesh water
territory and the armed robbers took away the boat and goods.

Four smugglers jumped out of the boat and others escaped. Although the
number of escapees is not known, some travelers who reached at Taknaf
town said that they saw three human corps floating along the Naf River
on 11 July, believed to be of the smugglers.

Gangs of robbers have been moving along the Naf river which divides
Bangladesh and Arakan State of Burma and about a hundred smugglers and
legal travelers were robbed last year alone, said the traders at the
border town.

In the last week of May, heavily armed robbers looted a fishing boat
near the Ma Hazo Island in Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh. Two
Arakan nationals and seven Bangladeshis were killed in the robbing and
total 50 lakh Taka worth of fish and the boat were taken away by the

The local traders said that most of these armed robbers were originally
from Maung Daw town of Arakan State with long criminal records. But they
have got married and have their families in Bangladesh side.

Local people complain that the authorities in both Bangladesh and Burma
have not taken any serious actions against these robbers and thus allow
the robbers to move around freely in both sides of border.