Keeping close watch on ‘laluan tikus’

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 03 Mar 2019

PADANG BESAR: Several laluan tikus (hidden trails) here have been under the police radar since 139 graves of human-trafficking victims were found in the jungle of Perlis near the Thai border in 2015.

Among them are in Felcra Lubuk Sireh and Chuping, where the police arrested many illegal immigrants who tried to enter the country.

Perlis Malaysian Border Security Agency commander Deputy Supt Syed Basri Syed Ali said there were several cases of foreigners trying to sneak in, but they were arrested.

“They were not coming in big numbers. We held regular meetings with our Thai counterparts and their Forestry Department officers to keep a close watch over the forest in Wang Prachan, Thailand.

“So far, there are no signs of illegal migrants, new trails or detention camps in Wang Kelian,” he said after manning roadblocks with his personnel at the Wang Kelian operation base yesterday.

On Friday, 34 Rohingya refugees, including nine children, waded through the muddy coastal water to enter the country illegally.

The refugees were believed to have arrived by a boat but were abandoned near the Sungai Belati beach.

A source from the Malaysian Civil Defence Force said the group was believed to be victims of a human-trafficking syndicate.

In the past, human-trafficking syndicates would used secluded land routes along the Malaysia-Thailand border such as Bukit Batu Putih, Wang Kelian, Padang Besar and Ladang Tebu to illegally enter Malaysia from Thailand.

Wang Kelian Village Community Administration Council chairman Md Razak Daud said there were still such trails in Bukit Kayu Hitam and Padang Besar.

“These trails are scattered in a few areas such as Felcra Lubuk Sireh and Padang Melangit.

“But in Wang Kelian, there is none. But some people linked such arrests to our area, giving us a bad name and scaring away tourists.

“As a result, many traders had to close down their business,” he claimed.

An officer stationed at the Pos Simpang Lima security post in Felcra Lubuk Sireh said there was no way illegals could sneak into the country via the Thai-Malaysia border.

“Since 2015, we have not spotted any illegals.

“They probably have chosen the sea route to enter Perlis,” he said.

According to reports, illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Myanmar and the Rohingya Muslim ethnic community were smuggled into the country via secret entries near Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah and Wang Kelian.

They are believed to have been charged between RM5,000 and RM16,000 by the syndicate and kept inside an abandoned factory in Napoh, Jitra in Kedah, as a transit point before being taken to Penang.

In January, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a Royal Commission of Inquiry had been set up to investigate the existence of human-trafficking camps and graves in Wang Kelian.

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