The authorities of Malaysia stated on Sunday that they had intercepted a boat which was ferrying a group consisting of 202 people who are believed to b ethnic Rohingya.

The nation which does not recognise the refugee status is a preferred destination for the ethnic Rohingyas who are fleeing the military crackdown in the nation of Myanmar and also the filthy conditions at the camps in Bangladesh.

Malaysia intercepts boat carrying Rohingyas

Rohingya refugees
Wikimedia Commons

The boat was found adrift around one nautical mile from a luxury beachside resort on the holiday island of Langkawi, off the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula, the Malaysian maritime enforcement agency said in a statement. The group included 152 men, 45 women and 5 children. All 202 have been detained at the coastguard's Kedah state headquarters.

The group will be handed over to immigration authorities for attempting to enter the country illegally, the coastguard said. The agency said it would also investigate complaints from the migrants about three alleged members of a migrant smuggling syndicate who escaped from the boat while out at sea. In February, at least 15 Rohingya refugees died when a vessel carrying about 130 people capsized in the Bay of Bengal while trying to reach Malaysia.

(With agency inputs)