27 March 2023

Identities of 39 Bangladeshi victims of Mediterranean boat capsize released

Photo: Collected -

The identities of 39 Bangladeshis who went missing after Friday's boat capsize in the Mediterranean Sea while attempting to reach Europe from Libya by boat have been released today.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen released the identities of the victims while briefing reporters at his office.

The minister said the involvement of three brothers from Noakhali and two others from Madaripur was found in trafficking out the victims.

He said officials at the Bangladesh Embassy in Libya talked to 14 Bangladesh nationals who were rescued alive from the capsized boat and gathered detailed information about them.

It was confirmed that among the four bodies retrieved after the incident, one was Bangladeshi and his name is Uttam Kumar Das, son of Gautam Das, hailing from Naria in Shariatpur.

Gautam’s family confirmed his identity after his photo was sent to them, said the Foreign Minister.

It was confirmed that 130 of the total 150 migrants on two boats were Bangladeshis and one of the boats reached Italy safely, another, carrying 70-80 passengers, sank in the sea.

Among the 14 Bangladeshis, four people are now undergoing treatment at a Tunisian government hospitalwhile the rest 10 are at a shelter home of Tunisian Red Crescent.

Responding to a question, Dr Momensaid the Bangladeshis went to Libya four months ago. They reached Tripoli via Dubai, Sharjah and Alexandria. In Tripoli, the human traffickers tortured them and extorted money from their families.

Two boats set out at the same time on May 9 (night). The first one reached Italy while the second one capsized.

(Humayun Kabir)

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