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Myanmar Police Arrest Nearly 100 Trafficked People In Raid

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Nearly 100 Rohingya smuggled from Myanmar’s conflict-scarred Rakhine state were arrested in a raid in Yangon, police announced Thursday, with authorities saying they had been headed to Malaysia as part of a trafficking network.
The latest smuggling operation was uncovered by Yangon police Wednesday, who raided two houses in Shwepyitha township and discovered 99 Rohingya. 
“They came from Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Sittwe and Kyauktaw townships (in Rakhine state) to travel to Malaysia to work,” Tin Maung Lwin, the township’s deputy police superintendent, told AFP Thursday.
Images published by local media showed the Rohingya huddled barefoot and wearing face masks, in front of a leafy multi-story house where they had reportedly been hiding for months.
Seventy-three of the group were women, Tin Maung Lwin told AFP, and they were accompanied by a number of children between the ages of five to 10.
They are currently quarantined in a local university where they have been tested for coronavirus, said Kyaw Soe Aung from the Arakan City Cooperation Network, a Rohingya aid group. 
“We heard they haven’t eaten for three days, so we sent them food and clothes yesterday,” he told AFP. Police said authorities were first alerted to a “suspicious man” who wasn’t able to speak Burmese fluently. 
They followed him to a house where they discovered the others. No smugglers were reportedly arrested.
“We will continue investigating the people who brought them here,” Tin Maung Lwin said, adding that he couldn’t say whether the Rohingya would be sent back to Rakhine state.

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