Boy found in shipping container returns to Bangladesh

SEPANG: The 16-year-old Bangladeshi boy who was found in a shipping container in Port Klang in January has been safely repatriated back to his home country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the boy, who had sailed from Chittagong in Bangladesh to Port Klang, was found in a weak condition on Jan 17 when the ship docked at port.

Saifuddin said based on investigations, there are no elements of human trafficking in this case.

"Our consideration at that time was to save him and we sent him to the (Tengku Ampuan Rahimah) hospital in Klang until he was nursed back to health," he told reporters at a press conference at KLIA on Tuesday(Feb 21) after seeing the boy off.

"During that period, the Home Ministry contacted the Bangladesh High Commission to help prepare his (travel) papers," he said, adding that the boy did not have any travel documents.

He also said he enlisted the help of NGO Yayasan Chow Kit to care for the child pending the repatriation process.

"The victim is a child that should be protected. Secondly, there is the need to protect lives because it was a miracle that he survived in the container despite being on sea for days," he said.

He explained as per the norm, those without valid travel documents would be sent to immigration depots but an exemption was given in this case.

Saifuddin said during his recent visit to Bangladesh in relation to the foreign worker issue, he had informed the Bangladeshi Home Minister that he would facilitate the repatriation process.

He said officials would accompany the boy from the Bangladesh High Commission to ensure a safe journey via a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dhaka.

"He will be brought back to his family. This is a manifestation of the Malaysia Madani principle to show compassion towards another human," he added.

The South Klang police confirmed on Jan 20, that the boy was found in a container.

However, the foreign boy was not a stowaway attempting to sneak into the country but was instead unintentionally locked up in the container after playing in it with some friends in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

South Klang OCPD ACP Cha Hoong Fong said a port worker discovered the boy in a weak state in the container.

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