500 Myanmar nationals 'swim' into Malaysia

2013-01-01 09:00
Kuala Lumpur - At least 500 Myanmar nationals swam the last 500m to enter Malaysia illegally at the end of a 15-day boat journey at the weekend, leaving one dead, police said on Tuesday.

Police told AFP they had so far found 482 people, including the captain of the 30-metre vessel, since Sunday and are looking for a "handful" more still hiding out on the northwestern island of Langkawi in the Malacca Straits.

They are believed to be one of the largest groups of Rohingya Muslims to have reached Malaysia this year after fleeing sectarian violence at home.

Police said the immigrants claimed to have paid $300 each to an agent in troubled Rakhine for the trip, which media reports said left most of them ill with some requiring hospital care.

Langkawi police chief Harrith Kam Abdullah said the captain of the boat was arrested on Monday but he had denied any knowledge of payments to an agent.

The Star newspaper also reported that one man was killed after being hit by the boat's propellers when he jumped into sea and had been buried at a Muslim cemetery in Langkawi on Monday.

The immigrants have been handed over to the immigration department to be processed at detentions centres nationwide.

Clashes between Buddhists and the Rohingya in Myanmar have left scores of people dead and displaced more than 115 000 people since June.

Thousands have sought refuge in Malaysia, a largely Muslim country that has a big Rohingya population, estimated to number about 23 000 by the United Nations' refugee agency.

Malaysia's maritime agency said last month it "rescued" 40 Myanmar shipwreck survivors, who are thought to be Muslim Rohingya, who had been denied entry to Singapore.

Read more on:    myanmar  |  malaysia
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Love is in the air and it is swirling around you in a romantic mist. This may be an idealistic yearning for that perfect love or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.