Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nasaka Demands 1.5 Million Kyat Ransom for Bangladeshi Fishermen

By Takaloo, Teknaf
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The Burmese border guard force Nasaka is demanding 1.5 million Kyat, or 125,000 Taka for the release of three Bangladeshi fishermen, said the sister of one of the fishermen.

The fishermen were reportedly arrested along with their small engine boat last Saturday on the Naf River, which demarcates the border of Burma and Bangladesh.

"My younger brother phoned me yesterday and told me that he and two others from our village were being detained by Nasaka on the Burmese side, and requested we arrange for giving 15 lakh of Burmese money to Nasaka for their release," said the sister, Fatema.

She identified her younger brother as 22-year-old Mohammed Ali, while the other two fishermen are 19-year-old Osman Goni and 16-year-old Shamsul Alam. All are residents of Nattaung Para Village in Teknaf, a border town in southeastern Bangladesh.

She also said they were arrested on the Bangladesh side of the Naf River near Shahpori Island, and they are being detained at Maungni Rwa Nasaka outpost in Maungdaw, which is situated across the river from the island.

It is unclear how Nasaka forces are able to regularly intrude into Bangladesh territory on the Naf River to arrest fishermen, because the area is also well guarded by the Border Guards Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh coastguard.

Nasaka typically releases arrested Bangladeshi fishermen and their boats without taking any legal action after receiving large ransoms from their families or communities in Bangladesh.

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