How Rohingya Refugees are Exploited to Smuggle Drugs

Rohingya Refugees used by the Arakan Army to smuggle drugs
Rohingyan women in Bangladesh, July 2019. Courtesy of UN Women Asia and the Pacific.

Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar are being exploited by the Arakan Army to smuggle drugs across the border into Bangladesh. The Arakan Army, which is struggling for greater autonomy from the Myanmar government, uses the proceeds of the drug trade to buy guns and ammunition. The drug smuggling operations have resulted in stricter sanctions in refugee camps in Bangladesh, contributing to even lower standards of living.

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