5 years’ jail for migrant boat crew

By AUNG THU | FRONTIER

YANGON — A court in Rakhine State has sentenced 20 crewmen from a ship carrying migrants to jail terms of five years’ each.

The 20 crewmen, including the vessel’s Thai captain, were sentenced in Maungdaw Township Court on June 23 for having entered Myanmar’s territorial waters illegally.

A legal source at the court said on June 24 the 20 were still to face charges of human trafficking.

The 20 were detained when a ship carrying 208 migrants was intercepted off the Rakhine coast by a Myanmar naval vessel on May 21.

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Most of the migrants aboard the ship were from Bangladesh and have been repatriated. The passengers also included eight Rohingya.

Another ship carrying about 730 migrants was intercepted off Ayeyarwady Region on May 28 and its passengers taken for identify checks to Rakhine, where about 190 were found to be Bangladeshis and repatriated.

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