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Malaysian investigators arrest human trafficking ‘kingpin’

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Malaysian investigators arrest human trafficking ‘kingpin’ | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Mass graves discovered in southern Thailand mid-2015

The Malaysian Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has arrested a person they allege is the godfather of a human trafficking ring that ran boats to carry people from Bangladesh to Malaysia.

“Mohammad Asem, also a business teacher at Tejgaon College in Dhaka, and his cohorts have raked in a lot of money, evident in their financial transactions”, said Molla Nazrul Islam, special superintendent of Organised Crime Division of the CID.

Mohammad Asem was arrested at the capital’s Karwan Bazar.

“We believe the syndicate trafficked hundreds of people to Malaysia. We are investigating into it,” the officer told a press conference at the CID headquarters yesterday.

Malaysian investigators arrest human trafficking 'kingpin' | News by The Thaiger

Mohammad Asem, also a business teacher at Tejgaon College in Dhaka

People trafficking in the region dominated global headlines for days after mass graves of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were discovered in southern Thailand and northern Malaysia in mid-2015.

Asem’s father Anowar Hossain and elder brother Mohammad Khobaid, who have been living in Malaysia for many years, are also involved in trafficking, the CID officer said.

Others suspected of being connected to the syndicate include Asem’s younger brother Javed Mostafa, mother Khadiza and cohorts Arif, Ekram, Osman Sawar and Arifuzzaman Akand, he said.

“We went to Asem’s home in Maulavipara [in Teknaf], but found no one,” he said.

“Mohammad Asem seems to be the kingpin of the human trafficking syndicate.”

Asem was granted bail by Metropolitan Magistrate Subrata Ghosh Shubha after police presented him before the court yesterday.

Between May 1 and the end of July, 2015, Thai authorities exhumed 36 bodies from mass graves – apparently of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis – in the southern region, while 139 mass graves were found in Malaysia.

UN Refugee Agency said 8,000 people were estimated to have been stranded at sea in May 2015 before Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia decided to accept them. It said some 84,000 people boarded boats from the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar between January 2014 and March 2015. In mid-2015, it was estimated that over 1,100 people died in the seas since 2014.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Malaysian investigators arrest human trafficking 'kingpin' | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation/The Star



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Southeast Asia

LATEST: Sri Lanka bombings

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LATEST: Sri Lanka bombings | The Thaiger

A wave of explosions rocked Sri Lanka up-scale hotels and churches on Easter Sunday around the capital Colombo. This is what we know…

• At least 215 people have been confirmed dead with up to 450 more injured in a series of bombings targeting churches holding Easter services and hotels in Sri Lanka. The toll is likely to rise during today or at least become more precise as officials tally information from emergency responders.

• Most of the dead are said to be Sri Lankans, but officials say up to 40 foreigners have lost their lives.

• Three UK nationals and two US-UK dual nationals were among the dead. One Dutch, one Chinese, one Portuguese and two Turkish nationals have been killed, their respective foreign ministries have confirmed.

• There were six initial blasts, at three hotels and three churches, before two more explosions some time later, at a guest house and housing scheme, with two people reported to have been killed at the former. A government minister says the last two blasts appeared to have been carried out by the culprits as they fled from police.

• No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks but Sri Lanka’s defence minister Ruwan Wijewardene claims the culprits have been identified and were religious extremists. He said suicide bombers were responsible for the majority of the morning’s bombings and that the wave of attacks was the work of a single group.

• Eight people are reported to have been arrested so far.

• The Sri Lankan government has issued a curfew and shut down social media and messaging services to prevent the spread of disinformation.

• Sri Lanka’s PM, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has condemned the “cowardly” attacks and urged people to remain “united and strong”.

• The archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called it “a very sad day” and is urging the government to identify the attackers and “punish them mercilessly because only animals can behave like that”.

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Southeast Asia

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet

The Thaiger

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Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ new 88-passenger Mitsubishi Regional Jet is testing the skies just as rivals Embraer and Bombardier are moving to sell off their manufacturing operations for jets with up to 160 seats to Boeing and Airbus.

At stake, particularly in the market for jets with fewer seats, is US$135 billion in sales in the two decades through 2037, according to industry group Japan Aircraft Development.

More cities in Asia and Europe are seeking to link up with each other and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first airliner built in Japan since the 1960s, began certification flights last month in Moses Lake, Washington.

With fewer seats and smaller fuselages, regional jets are a different class of aircraft from larger narrow-body planes such as Boeing’s 737 or Airbus’s A320. The MRJ has a range of about 3,220 kilometres. The seating is 2+2 instead of 3+3 in a small Airbus or Boeing single-aisle jet.

After spending at least US$2 billion over more than a decade, the manufacturer is looking to get its jet certified and start deliveries to launch partner ANA Holdings.

Mitsubishi initially planned test flights in 2012 but blew past that deadline because of production difficulties. Now, the company, which makes ships, nuclear power plants and aerospace components, expects to have the plane ready for customers next year, a timetable that will test the company, said Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani.

Mitsubishi Heavy is not the only Asian manufacturer betting that it can build aircraft cheaper and more efficiently. Commercial Aircraft of China (Comac) has a new regional jet in service, while Korea Aerospace Industries is studying whether to develop a 100-passenger aircraft.

“The aviation market in Asia is expected to grow further in the coming years and there will be demand for these aircraft,” said analyst Lee Dong-heon at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

“The shift in the regional aviation segment we have seen over the last year or so has opened opportunities.”

“The MRJ is fully capable of competing in the market.”

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | News by The Thaiger

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North East

Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew

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Opening of a rail service between Thailand and Cambodia in Sa Kaew | The Thaiger

The Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is leading a delegation to officiate at the opening of a new rail service between Thailand and Cambodia at Klong Luek railway station in Sa Kaew province. The Thai government funded the maintenance and restoration of the two kilometre rail track between Klong Luek station and Poipet station in Cambodia.

Rail services between Thailand and Cambodia were suspended for decades due to strained relationships between the two countries since the Cold War era. Although the relationship is much better these days there was little interest in the restoration of the rail link as people in both countries tended to prefer travel by road.

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