Sunday, January 19, 2020 | ePaper

Stop issuance of fake NIDs, passports to Rohingyas

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IT is not unknown that with the help of local people some Rohingya refugees are making Bangladeshi passports in exchange of a hefty amount of money. Comprised of local government representatives, police and passport officials, several syndicates collect the National ID card, citizenship certificate, birth registration and police verification from relevant government offices using their link as well as by bribing officials. The practice has been turned too dangerous for the security of the country, foreign labor market and country's reputation.
Police and passport officials say the Rohingya people are using fake names and addresses while applying for passports. In the latest such discovery, Chattogram police arrested three Rohingya men with three Bangladeshi passports against their names from the city's Kattoli area on Thursday night. The trio, all of whom took shelter in refugee camps in Cox's Bazar with their families in 2017, was on their way to Dhaka. Two of them got their passports in December 2017, just months after their arrival, and the other in January this year.
Also on Thursday night, police detained four Rohingya women from the Port City's Burma Colony area, some 10km from Kattoli. One of the women carried a Bangladesh NID card. They got the passports with the help of a syndicate that includes local and Rohingya brokers in exchange of Tk 60,000 to Tk 1.09 lakh. To get a passport, the Rohingya people first contact Rohingya and Bangladeshi brokers in Cox's Bazar. They then collect documents from union parishads or city corporations to prove their citizenship with the help of the brokers, and submit those to the passport office along with their applications.
The entire system of securing NID cards and passports by Rohingyas involve local representatives, police, government agencies, passport officials, and middlemen. It's learnt that a large number of Rohingyas are now either opting to go abroad illegally or spread to different parts of Bangladesh like local citizens. Especially, the human trafficking rackets encourage them to take risk of going to Malaysia, Indonesia and different Middle Eastern countries. The rackets also help them to dodge the authorities to contact their relatives living in different Muslim countries.
The law enforcement and intelligence agencies must treat the issue seriously with taking every movement of Rohingyas under round-the-clock watch.

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