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Malaysian police catch 102 refugees in Penang jungle

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013 15:09 Mizzima News

Malaysian police have detained 102 Myanmar nationals who tried to enter the country by boat on the island of Penang in the country’s northwest, according to Malaysian daily The Star.

“Balik Pulau Deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Lai Fah Hin said the group, including 20 women and 18 children, aged between one and 70 years, came in a fishing trawler and landed along Pantai Teluk Kampi in Teluk Bahang at about 11pm on Sunday,” said the report.

The boatpeople then broke into groups and tried to hide in the jungles of Teluk Bahang National Park; however many of them became exhausted after running out of food following three days at sea and another in the jungle, said The Star, citing the local police chief.

Some 200 personnel from the state Wildlife and National Parks Department and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency were reportedly deployed to hunt down the refugees after a tip-off from the public.

No mention was made in the report of how their Myanmar nationality was ascertained nor if they had documentation.

Neither did the report speculate if the boatpeople were from the Rohingya community, hundreds of whom have fled by boat from Myanmar’s Rakhine State in recent months to escape persecution.

For full report in The Star:;se...