140 Rohingya refugees arrested in Penang National Park


Source nst, 18 Feb

BALIK PULAU: Some 140 Rohingya refugees starved for three days, before 35 of them, including children, were arrested in the jungle of the Penang National Park today.

Aged between a year old to 70s, they were arrested about 3pm after they were found loitering around the Teluk Kampi beach, and are believed to have entered the country’s waters by using a barge 13 days ago.

When met, one of the refugees, Mohamad Rovic, 26, said they had to get off the boat and wander around for shelter, with some having run away into the woods.

He said there were those who went hungry for three days due to fear of being arrested by the authorities.

"I came here to find my brothers who have been working here for a while. I don’t want to go back home as it feels much safer here and I also want to find a job," he said.

Meanwhile, Southwest district police chief Superintendent Mohd Hatta Mohd Zin confirmed their arrests and said police were now searching intensively for the others.

He said operations are still ongoing and those detained were brought to the district police headquarters for further checks before being handed over to the Immigration Department.

He added that police were also assisted by the Wildlife Protection and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) as well as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

"For the time being the operations at the park are ceasing until the remaining Rohingyas are found," he said.

Read more: 140 Rohingya refugees arrested in Penang National Park – Latest – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/latest/140-rohingya-refugees-arrested-in-penang-national-park-1.220680?cache=03%3Fpage%3D0#ixzz2LUukSnog

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