Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper
Migrants boat capsize
Identities of 39 Bangladeshi victims released
Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday released identities of 39 Bangladeshis feared dead in Thursday's Mediterranean Sea boat capsize.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen released the information while addressing a press briefing in his ministry office.
Fourteen people among the rescued 16 were also identified as Bangladeshis. So far one of them was dead, minister said.
It has also been confirmed that 130 of the total 150 migrants on the two boats were Bangladeshis, the minister added.
"So far, one dead was identified as Bangladeshi national. The deceased was identified as Uttam Das from Noria upazila in Shariatpur district," Momen said.
The minister said the Bangladesh officials of Libya mission, who are now in Tunisia, gathered the information about the dead and the missing Bangladeshis from statements of survivors of the boat that carried nearly 80 illegal migrants.
"Our officials are working to collect more information about the missing people" he said, adding, "It's still uncertain how many Bangladeshi nationals are still missing," he said.
According to information received here from Tunisia, the foreign minister said, the tragedy unfolded after some 150 people including 130 Bangladeshis had left Zuwara on the northwestern Libyan coast late Thursday on a large boat.
They were transferred to two smaller boats and the first boat had been able to reach offshore of Italy while the second one carrying some 70 to 80 people sank in the sea, Momen said.
"As per the survivors' statements, they were forced board on the small boat. Even some were physically assaulted by traffickers for refusing to board on the small boat," he said.Â Â Â The foreign minister said, the government will bring back bodies of the Bangladeshi nationals home. Momen said the law enforcing agencies have already started work to identify the local human trafficking rackets here who had instigated the victims to migrate to Italy illegally.
He said 23 fraud travel agencies in Sylhet have already been sealed suspecting their involvement in human trafficking while a three-brother syndicate from Noakhali was identified as responsible for sending some of the victims.
The foreign minister said officials of Bangladesh embassy in Libya went to Tunisia after the incident and they are keeping contact with the Red Crescent there.
The identified missing Bangladeshis are Abdul Aziz, Ahmed, Liton Ahmed, Khokon, Afzal Hossain, Momin Ahmed, Dilal Ahmed, Kashem, Zillur Rahman, Kamran Ahmed Maruf, Rukon Ahmed, Ayaz Ahmed, Sujon Ahmed, Indrajit, Jewel, Shoyeb, Saju from Sylhet, Maolana Mahbubur Rahman, Nazir Ahmed from Sunamganj, Hafiz Shamim Ahmed, Fahad Ahmed from Moulibazar, Muktadir from Habiganj, Ali Akbar, Zakir Hawlader, Shahed, Nayeem, Shapon, Nadim, Sajib from Madaripur, Sabbir, Jalaluddin, Sajal from Kishorganj, Abdur Rahim, owlader, Nasir Ahmed, Munir, Rajib, Parvez, Sumon, from Shariatpur and Jahid from Narshindhi.