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    117 Rohingya refugees detained

    Rohingya
    boatpeople wait behind bars at a Phuket police station on Feb. 1. (Photo:
    phuketwan.com)

    The
    Sun Daily:
    March
    26, 2013 
    GEORGE
    TOWN (March 26, 2013): A total of 117 Rohingya refugees, including 24 children,
    were detained near Muka Head in Teluk Bahang by maritime enforcement officers
    on Sunday.
    They
    were picked up after the Penang Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)
    intercepted an unlicensed boat seven nautical miles west of Muka Head.
    The
    enforcement unit found 117 people, including 21 women and 24 children aged 12
    years and below, in the boat which was sent to the Limbungan Batu Maung jetty,
    the MMEA said in a statement today.
    Earlier
    this month, 126 Rohingyas were rescued from their leaking boat by local
    fishermen about 2.5 nautical miles from Muka Head.
    In
    mid February, 140 Rohingya refugees were found wandering around Teluk Bahang
    National Park after illegally entering through Teluk Kampi beach.
    Meanwhile,
    in Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today renewed calls for a
    refugee swap with Malaysia to deter boat people after two asylum-seekers
    drowned at sea, AFP reported.
    An
    overloaded Indonesian fishing boat was spotted off Christmas Island in the
    Indian Ocean on Monday. More than 90 people were plucked to safety by an
    Australian customs boat but two people died.
    Canberra
    clinched a deal with Malaysia in 2011 to transfer 800 boat people in exchange
    for 4,000 registered as refugees from Malaysia.
    But
    the plan was shot down in the Australian parliament by the opposition, which
    objected to the fact that Malaysia has not signed the UN refugee convention. –
    AFP