ARSA gun commander arrested with weapons in Ukhiya Rohingya Camp


In a special operation, RAB-15 apprehended Md. Zakaria, the gun group commander of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), from a Rohingya camp in Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar. Zakaria was found in possession of a G3 rifle and five rounds of live ammunition.

Lt. Colonel HM Sajjad Hossain, Commander of RAB-15, disclosed the details during a press conference at the RAB-15 office. He stated that the foreign-made G3 rifle is typically used by Myanmar’s law enforcement agencies and was smuggled into Bangladesh by terrorists.

Md. Zakaria, the son of the late Ali Johar from camp number 10 in Balukhali, Ukhiya, was arrested early Friday following intelligence reports from the 10th Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army and RAB sources. The reports indicated that ARSA members had brought weapons into the camp from a neighboring country to conduct subversive activities.

During initial interrogation, Zakaria confessed to his role in executing killing missions as the ARSA gun group commander within the Rohingya camp. He revealed that the weapon used in these missions was hidden in Ghati Bill, Palongkhali Union. Acting on this information, RAB-15 conducted a raid and recovered the G3 rifle and ammunition.

Zakaria and his family crossed into Bangladesh in 2017, settling in camp number 10. In Myanmar, he developed close ties with ARSA’s top commander, Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi, which led to his recruitment into ARSA. Initially, Zakaria served as an informer before becoming an active member of the gun group. By late 2023, he was appointed block commander of block F/17 in camp number 10.

Under Zakaria’s command, ARSA members were involved in various criminal activities, including kidnapping, arms and drug trafficking, extortion, and the oppression of ordinary Rohingyas. Following the killing of a senior intelligence officer by ARSA terrorists during a joint anti-drug operation in 2022, law enforcement intensified their activities in the camp, prompting Zakaria to flee to Myanmar. He later returned to Bangladesh to resume his criminal activities as the ARSA gun group commander.

Zakaria faces multiple cases at Ukhiya police station for various crimes and has been imprisoned twice. He has been handed over to Ukhiya police station with a case filed under the Arms Act.

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