- By Thomas Whittle
The refugees were found by police on a beach of Langkawi island, a famous tourist attraction which lies to the northwest of the peninsular Malaysia on Sunday. They were forced to swim several hundred meters to the beach, police said. At least one was reported drowned.
Preliminary investigation showed the refugees had travelled more than 10 days after each paid 300 U.S. dollars for the trip, police said.
The official news agency Bernama reported that the Rohingyas had been transferred to Immigration Department for further action.
The Muslim-majority Malaysia has become a major destination for Rohingya Muslims escaping violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. Forty Rohingya refugees who survived a shipwreck were reported to be allowed to enter Malaysia earlier this month. Dozen were killed when a overloaded wooden boat with 110 illegal immigrants on board heading for Malaysia capsized in the Bay of Bengal close to Bangladesh’s southeastern border with Myanmar in November.
The violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since this June has caused lots of deaths and more than 110,000 homeless.