Bangladesh destroys about 20 boats ferrying Rohingya from Myanmar

Bangladeshi authorities have destroyed about 20 boats that ferried Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar, Reuters reported. Officials accused smugglers of using the huge exodus to bring methamphetamine into Bangladesh. Refugees said that border guards also beat and arrested passengers and crew as they landed at Shah Porir Dwip, on the southern tip of Bangladesh on Tuesday night. The vessels were reportedly smashed to pieces by locals. Ariful Islam, Lieutenant Colonel of Bangladeshi Border Guards, denied there were beatings. The commander also said the action was a crackdown on human trafficking and the smuggling of methamphetamine, a drug known locally as ‘ya ba’. He accused the organizers of the boat journeys of exploiting Rohingyas by charging them for the short trip to Bangladesh.