Three suspected members of a notorious pirate gang were arrested from the Sundarbans by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on early Monday.
The arrestees are - Siddiqur Rahman, 34, son of Jumman Ali Gazi, resident of Munshiganj village, Abdullah Talabdar, 33, son of Akbar Ali Talabdar, resident of Kalinchi village and Mohidul Islam, 45, son of Ahmmed Ali, resident of Harinagar village of Shyamnagar upazila.
Lt Col Syed Mohammad Nurus Salehin Yunus, commanding of Rab-6, told the media that a team of Rab conducted the drive in Moheshwaripu area under Koyra upazila in Khulna acting on a tip-off.
“The pirates were arrested with three locally-made guns, 15 bullets, two machetes, three mobile phones and cash Tk 15,000,” he said.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal had warned that anybody attempting to commit any robbery in the Sundarbans will be punished and that the government will do everything to keep the mangrove forest safe.
Bangladesh took a hard stance on pirates active in the world’s largest mangrove forest. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on November 1 last year declared the Sundarbans free of criminal gangs after the last remaining pirate gangs laid down arms.
Last month, Rab said it conducted 246 successful drives and arrested 586 criminals of various gangs in the Sundarbans. It seized 780 firearms and 41,955 bullets while 163 pirates were killed in gunfights.
Rab also recovered nine Royal Bengal Tiger cubs, 23 tiger hides, 29 deer, 129 deer hides and various wild animals during the drives.
A taskforce was established in 2012 with RAB, police, Coast Guard, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Forest Department. The RAB Director General was the chief coordinator of the taskforce.
Thirty-two former chiefs of criminal gangs and 328 members surrendered between May 31, 2016 and November 1, 2018. They have been reintegrated into the society, reports UNB.