Dhaka: A group of 200 ethnic Rohingyas was repatriated to Bangladesh late Wednesday from Thailand, more than a year after the group tried to illegally migrate to Malaysia before being detained in Thai waters.
The group, which had started off from Bangladesh`s southeastern Cox`s Bazar district in late 2008, only contained 28 confirmed Bangladeshi citizens.
A Bangladesh Biman flight carrying the group landed at Shahjalal International Airport (formerly Zia International Airport) in the evening, officials at the airport and Foreign Ministry conformed.
"All of the 28 Bangladeshis have returned in Dhaka and they have started for their respective ancestral homes," Saida Muna Tasneem, Foreign Ministry director general for external publicity, told the media in Dhaka.
A Thai charity paid the group`s airfare, while the International Organisation for Migration provided logistical support.
After the group`s capture, Thai authorities had sent them first to refugee camps and then to the Bangkok Detention Centre, where embassy officials interviewed them to ascertain their identity.
Many poor Rohingyas and Bangladeshis are tempted by offers to travel illegally to Malaysia and Singapore in search of work. But the boats used to make the journey are unsafe, and many people die of starvation and boating accidents on the trips.