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Rohingya, from refugees to separatists

Rohingya, Rohingyas, Myanmar, Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, MPT, Sumitomo Corporation, Japan, KDDI Corporation, ARSA, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, Hamas, Hezbollah, Dawood Ibrahim, D Company, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Harakahal-Yaqin, Iran, Turkey, Qatar, India, ARSA Caliphate, Arakan, Cox's Bazar, Saudi Arabia, Yaba, Methamphetamine, Captagon

Counterterrorism

Rohingya, from refugees to separatists

Terribly disturbing news are being published in the media regarding over one million Rohingya refugees, who have been sheltered by the Bangladesh government since August 2017. After just four years, those Rohingyas, who have been receiving sympathy and help from Bangladesh are now taking preparations of waging jihad against Bangladesh proclaiming Cox’s Bazar district as a “part of Arakan”. Meaning, they are emerging as a jihadist-separatist group, that challenges the sovereignty of Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, according to media reports, Myanmar authorities have also started providing logistics to these Rohingyas with the nefarious agenda of shifting responsibility of taking back these huge number of refugees back to Myanmar and turn them into not only a massive headache and burden to Bangladesh, but also to transform Rohingyas into mere monsters. With this nefarious agenda, Myanmar’s state-owned operator ‘MPT’ has installed over one dozen mobile phone towers within Bangladesh-Myanmar borders enabling Rohingyas in using the service, while majority of the trans-border drugs and arms dealers are also using ‘MPT’ services, which cannot be intercepted by the Bangladesh authorities.

Describing MPT (Myanma Posts and Telecommunications), its website says: With over 23 million users, MPT is the first and leading telecommunications company in Myanmar, providing both fixed and mobile telecommunication services to people and enterprises of Myanmar.

For over 130 years, the operator has been championing the development of the telecommunications industry in Myanmar. Today, it operates a nationwide network infrastructure, with the widest mobile network coverage of 96% throughout Myanmar.

Through its wide network of retail outlets and points of sale, MPT aims to make telecommunications services more accessible nationwide. Together with its workforce of over 8,000 employees and KDDI Summit Global Myanmar (KSGM) all of whom are intensively supporting MPT’s operation, MPT is committed to continually driving the development of the telecommunications sector, and moving Myanmar forward.

MPT was ranked as the most loved Brand in Myanmar amongst 42 key brands on June 30, 2016 according to a brand research in Myanmar by Millward Brown, a British multinational market research firm.

KDDI Summit Global Myanmar Company Limited is a company established in Myanmar via the investment of KDDI CORPORATION, one of Japan’s major telecommunications companies and SUMITOMO CORPORATION, another of Japan’s major corporations. Through a joint operation with Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) KDDI Summit Global Myanmar Company Limited provides fixed-line communications, mobile communications and Internet services with “Japanese Quality” in Myanmar.

It is also learned, Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) is planning to install dozens more of mobile phone towers within Bangladesh-Myanmar borders as well as Myanmar-India borders, thus expanding its network both inside Bangladeshi and Indian territories.

Media reports claimed, most of the mobile phone towers are installed within Hwang Kyung village, which is just 10 kilometers from Bangladesh territory. While there were not a single mobile phone tower within Myanmar-Bangladesh borders back in August 2019, the number has already crossed one dozen just within the span of less than two years, while it will continue to grow in the coming months and years.

According to media reports, ‘MPT’ SIM cards are sold within and outside Rohingya camps in Bangladesh at the rate of BDT 350~400 each. Most of these SIM cards are pre-registered using names of Myanmar nationals. It is learned that, majority of the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are having ‘MPT’ SIM cards as these are easily available in most of the local mobile phone stores in Bangladesh.

Newspaper reports said, each of the ‘MPT’ SIM cards are sold at BDT 40-50 in Myanmar, while it is sold by the traffickers at BDT 250-300 to the dealers in Bangladesh. Each of the traffickers carry 300-400 SIM cards. Majority of the SIM cards are sold inside Balukhali and Kutupalong Rohingya camps during dark hours of the day.

The organized racket also extends services of re-charging these Myanmar SIM cards. Generally, Rohingyas dealing in ‘MPT’ SIM card re-charge send a message to their counterpart in Myanmar using Imo apps. Then Myanmar side send a 16-digit code, which the user needs to dial. Once dialed, the required amount is refilled in the cards. To lure Rohingyas and even locals in using MPT services, this company offers cheaper internet package with better speed facilities. For these reasons, MPT mobile connections are becoming increasingly popular within the Bangladesh-Myanmar bordering areas. Currently MPT’s internet peed is 5 Gbps.

Rise of ARSA terrorist group inside Rohingya refugee population

Back in August 2017, over one million Rohingya refugees fled to Bangladesh due to extreme persecution of the Myanmar military forces. Bangladesh had provided shelter to these refugees purely on humanitarian ground. But now, according to media reports, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army or ARSA, which was formerly known as Harakahal-Yaqin has succeeded in recruiting more than two thousand Rohingyas as members of this jihadist outfit, while there are approximately 150 females in it. ARSA has been increasing number of recruits, while a section of the Rohingya jihadists are trained by Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) within the mountainous areas in Nepal. For years, ARSA has been receiving fund from several countries including Turkey, Iran and Qatar, while it already has aligned with several militancy outfits including Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Sources said, members of ARSA are already taking secret preparation of establishing their total control over Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh and finally proclaim it as an ARSA Caliphate.

A vernacular news portal in its report claims, it has received video statement of several ARSA members who have claimed Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh as “part of Arakan”. They said, Rohingyas will permanently stay in Cox’s Bazar and ultimately take control of the area.

According to media reports, ARSA has taken over control of Yaba pills (a type of drugs also known as methamphetamine and captagon pills), are has been trafficking consignments of this drug to a number of Middle Eastern nations, Thailand, India, Philippines, Japan and South Korea with the direct help from mafia don Dawood Ibrahim’s infamous D Company as well as Lebanese Hezbollah and Palestinian Hamas. Generally, the consignments of Yaba pills are sent from Myanmar via various shipping lines in concealed consignments to the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, wherefrom these are later re-routed to Middle Eastern nations, particularly Saudi Arabia.

Yaba has one too many nicknames to keep up with, but this little red tablet, regardless of its name, was outlawed in Thailand in the early 1970s. Otherwise known as the madness drug or Nazi speed, is a combination of a number of stimulants. The two main substances that make up the drug are caffeine and methamphetamine, otherwise known as crystal meth.

During the recent years, use of yaba has become rampant in a number of countries including Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, while it has massive demand in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah has been mainly pushing yaba pills inside Saudi Arabia mostly by hiding inside various edible and non-edible consignments, including fruits and vegetable. Hezbollah also started sending yaba to South American nations, mainly, Mexico and Colombia. According to media reports, during the recent months mega-terror outfit Hamas has also aligned with Iranian proxy network, joining hands with Hezbollah and Houthis. It is anticipated, Hamas too has joined the multi-billion-dollar narco-trade.

A source claimed, the number of ARSA girls and women in various brothels in India are on rise, while a significant number of the ARSA female terrorists are also entering Indian brothels under the disguise of sex workers. Additionally, organized human trafficking rackets are sending Rohingya and ARSA girls and women to several Middle Eastern nations mostly with Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani passports. Organized crime rackets are involved in managing passports for Rohingya females by bribing the passport authorities of the countries concerned. For those Middle Eastern nations, these Rohingya housemaids may ultimately pose serious security threats.

Another credible source said, Rohingyas are also trying to increase their presence within various parts of India, especially Jammu, Kashmir and West Bengal. They are seeing the current West Bengal government, which is led by Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress as “friendly force”, which has mostly been ignoring the case of increase in the number of Rohingyas in West Bengal.

The disturbing news about recruiting of Rohingyas by Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) within Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, particularly Cox’s Bazar district and Myanmar’s state-owned mobile phone company MPT’s installation of towers within Bangladesh-Myanmar borders are certainly matters of gravest concern. Our law enforcement and intelligence agencies should now take immediate steps in dismantling the existence of ARSA within the Rohingya camps and launch massive drives against use of MPT mobile phone SIMs inside the country. Similarly, Indian authorities also need to take ARSA and Rohingya issue very seriously.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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