Muslims arrested in Shwepyithar Township, Yangon Region. (Photo: Zaw Min Latt)

Myo Thiri Kyaw | DMG
23 January 2021, Sittwe

Officials say they are planning to return 99 Muslims to Arakan State after they arrived in Yangon Region’s Shwepyithar Township without any documents and were arrested earlier this month. 

Yangon Region lawmaker U Yan Aung Min told DMG that a letter had been addressed to the Union government through the regional government to send the 26 men and 73 women back to Arakan State via a ship from the Department of Marine Administration, which is part of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“It is still unknown when they will be returned to Arakan State. The Muslims will be sent to Arakan State by waterway only after the Yangon Region government submits a letter to the Union government for permission. That’s all we know so far,” the MP added.

“Six members of the group that transported the Muslims to Yangon have been charged under Section 367/370 of the Penal Code. So far, only four have been arrested and the other two are on the run. The 99 Muslims will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” said Police Captain Tin Maung Lwin, head of the Shwepyithar Township police station.

The 99 undocumented Muslims were arrested in Shwepyithar Township on January 6 and are still being held at a facility on the University of Computer Studies campus in the township.

They are reportedly from Mrauk-U Township and illegally entered Yangon Region via Ann Township. Their ultimate destination is said to have been Malaysia, where they were to be sent as migrant workers.

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