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20 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Dubious passport trade involving Rohingyas

Dubious passport trade involving Rohingyas

As the fate of Rohingyas living in Bangladesh camps is enveloped in uncertainty due to complications over repatriation plus a general unwillingness to go back to valid perceptions of more oppression, it’s possibly natural that many will try to find a way, legal or illegal, to ensure legitimate status in Bangladesh. Therefore, reports of certain unscrupulous sections in Cox’s Bazaar engaged in providing passports to Rohingya are not shocking. We have come to know that local government representatives along with notary staff with the help of middlemen are handing out National Id Cards, birth certificates and even passports to Rohingya people.

This is indeed worrying because the first concern is that using a Bangladesh passport, a Myanmar national can easily get involved in crime. Since the entry of the drug Yaba has seen a sharp rise with the unfolding of the Rohingya crisis, passports obtained illegally may be used to provide legal security to those engaged in the trade of the drug, using the Rohingya imbroglio as a shield. Reportedly, a young woman was given necessary documents while a local leader pressured the Department of Immigration and Passport official to grant her a passport. Eventually, the woman in question was detained while trying to board a plane to Malaysia.

To obtain a passport, police verification is essential and, therefore, from the case of the young woman, it’s safe to assume that there is a syndicate in operation involving unprincipled sections of several departments.  On one hand, laws regarding a sensitive document have been breached while on the other, a macabre dimension to the Rohingya problem opens up where young women may be exploited sexually, often facing the grim possibility of trafficking. Realistically speaking, the Rohingya issue has so many complex facets that in face of immediate priority in health, medication and well being, countless other problems often become relegated. However, there must be strict vigilance on operations that aim to provide Myanmar nations with Bangladesh citizenship documents.

In a time when this country is carrying out a determined effort to extirpate radicalism, lax attitude in identification documents can have deadly consequences.

Lastly, some exemplary punishment becomes necessary to send a strong message. While stamping out a wide range of irregularities in a short time won’t be possible, with an active drive by the district administration, a number of nefarious practices can be contained. Also, airports need to be vigilant about first time overseas visitors on new passports.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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