Malaysian investigators arrest human trafficking ‘kingpin’

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 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 Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation/The Star

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