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Burmese navy detains 727 boat people in Irrawaddy

The boat holding hundreds of migrants detained by the Burmese navy in Irrawaddy Division on Friday morning (Photo: Ministry of Information)

Seven hundred and twenty-seven migrants aboard a ship have been detained by Burmese authorities in Irrawaddy Division, according to the Ministry of Information.

A naval patrol boat came across a “suspicious looking” shipping trawler in the Gulf of Martaban at 6.30am on 29 May, around 13 nautical miles east of the village of Daminseik, the ministry said in a statement on Friday. Upon inspection it was found to be holding 608 men, 74 women and 45 children.

According to the Ministry of Information statement, the migrants are all “Bengali”, a word commonly used to describe the Muslim Rohingya minority, implying that they belong to neighbouring Bangladesh.

The migrants have been taken to nearby Haingyyi Island.