Bangladesh rescues Rohingya illegally heading for Malaysia

COX'S BAZAR,Bangladesh (AP) — An official says police are interrogating six suspected human traffickers after Bangladeshi guards separately rescued nearly 50 Rohingya refugees from boats heading for Malaysia through the Bay of Bengal.

Police official Pradip Kumar Das said Thursday they were questioning the suspects to know about a network of people smugglers who are alluring refugees from sprawling camps ahead of a plan to repatriate them from this month.

He said 33 refugees were rescued from a fishing boat near the Saint Martins Island on Wednesday while another 14 Rohingya were rescued at Shahporir Island a day before in Cox's Bazar district.

Das said they were lured by the traffickers with promises of marriages and jobs in Malaysia.

More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August last year amid an army-led crackdown.