January 29, 2015 / 9:34 AM / in 3 years

About 40 migrants missing off Bangladesh after their boats sinks

DHAKA (Reuters) - About 40 illegal migrants heading from Bangladesh to Malaysia to look for work were missing on Thursday after their boat sank, police said.

A steady stream of people including job hunters and asylum seekers leaves Bangladesh and neighbouring Myanmar for Southeast Asia, often with the help of people-smuggling gangs. Accidents are common.

More than 70 people were heading out to sea near Kutubdia island, 415 km (260 miles) southeast of Dhaka, when their wooden boat sank, police said.

The coastguard rescued 33 of them and six of them were taken to hospital, police said.

Police officer Aung So Pry Murma told Reuters a vessel he described as a pirate ship was waiting offshore to take them to Malaysia to look for work.

Reporting By Serajul Quadir and Nurul Islam from Cox's Bazar; Editing by Robert Birsel

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