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In pics: Rohingya migrants take the 'ferry of death'

Around $1,100 should have secured passage for each of the Rohingya migrants who were found adrift in the Andaman Sea -- victims of a dark trade in humans that pivots around smuggling kingpins in Thailand's south.

world Updated: May 16, 2015 16:29 IST
A-Rohingya-migrant-crying-as-he-sits-with-others-in-a-boat-drifting-in-Thai-waters-off-the-southern-island-of-Koh-Lipe-in-the-Andaman--Trafficking-experts-say-Thailand-is-the-centre-of-a-multi-million-dollar-trade-run-by-competing-transnational-criminal-syndicates-AFP-Photo
A-Rohingya-migrant-crying-as-he-sits-with-others-in-a-boat-drifting-in-Thai-waters-off-the-southern-island-of-Koh-Lipe-in-the-Andaman--Trafficking-experts-say-Thailand-is-the-centre-of-a-multi-million-dollar-trade-run-by-competing-transnational-criminal-syndicates-AFP-Photo

Around $1,100 should have secured passage for each of the Rohingya migrants who were found adrift in the Andaman Sea — victims of a dark trade in humans that pivots around smuggling kingpins in Thailand's south.

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Rights groups say the real money is made in southern Thailand, where brokers hold the human cargo in jungle camps or safe houses awaiting release payments of around $2,000 from relatives or friends, or sell them on in bulk to farms and businesses in Malaysia. Reuters Photohttp://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/5/Rohingya_LL.jpg

A boatload of 400 people -- recruited, duped or even kidnapped -- could be worth up to $800,000, according to anti-trafficking group Freeland Foundation, which has helped Thai police investigate the illicit industry.AFP Photohttp://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/5/Rohingya_LL6.jpg

Trafficking experts say Thailand is the centre of a multi-million-dollar trade run by competing transnational criminal syndicates. (Reuters Photo)http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/5/Rohingya_LL4.jpg

In Myanmar's Rakhine state, where 1.3 million Rohingya live stateless and unwelcome, tens of thousands have joined boats headed south, the majority since a wave of deadly communal violence in 2012. AP Photohttp://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/5/Rohingya_LL8.jpg

The UN says a record 25,000 Rohingya, and poor migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, took to the sea through the Bay of Bengal between January and March this year. AP Photohttp://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2015/5/Rohingya_LL5.jpg

Migrants wait for food rations by the government social welfare personnel in Kuala Cangkoi relocation area in Aceh province, where nearly 600 migrants mostly Rohingyas from Myanmar and Bangladesh were relocated by Indonesian authorities after their boat was washed ashore. "Most traffickers from Myanmar and Malaysia insist that Thai bosses are taking the lion's share of the profits from this trade," said Matthew Smith of advocacy group Fortify Rights. AFP Photo



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An Indonesian police officer directs newly arrived migrants toward a warehouse which is turned into a temporary shelter upon their arrival at Kuala Langsa Port in Langsa, Aceh province, Indonesia on May 15. But the sums involved -- which Smith puts at $250 million since 2012 -- means "layers of people" have got rich, with ample cash left over to grease palms where needed. AP Photo