PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The temporary transit camps in Wang Kelian, Perlis are a safe haven for human trafficking camps operating in Thailand, says Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
The former inspector-general of police said the masterminds of human smuggling are from Thailand.
"Investigations did not show that any parties from here (Malaysia) are involved.
"The modus operandi is usually to detain illegal immigrants in Thailand until the respective families in Bangladesh pay up before bringing them into Malaysia.
"The activities (human trafficking) taking place on the Malaysian side were masterminded by the Thai side,” said Khalid.
He is the 47th witness on the 16th day of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the discovery of transit camps and mass graves Monday (June 17).
Khalid said the temporary transit camps in Wang Kelian located about 200m from the Malaysian-Thai border, would be used when Thailand conducted enforcement operations on the main camps.
"When Thailand disrupts them, they would run to our area (Malaysia). When the operations stopped, they would return to Thailand,” he said to a packed public gallery.
He however explained that he was not officially told of the main camps in Thailand.
He said the Royal Malaysian Police had issued a wanted list of 10 Thai citizens involved in the case.
Nonetheless, he said when several individuals in the list were arrested by Thai authorities, requests by Malaysia to interview the individuals concerned were turned down by Thailand.
Asked why were the temporary transit camps were left out of police patrol, Khalid said it was due to the bad terrain and because there were no residents there.
When giving his statement, Khalid also denied allegations that he did not take the discovery of transit camps and mass graves seriously or that there were pacts with certain parties in Thailand.
Khalid, however, admitted the level of security at the Perlis-Thailand border was weak and it should be stepped up.
When asked on possible proposals, he said the usage of technological gadgets such as drones, cameras and sensors could be considered. - Bernama