Wang Kelian mass grave, camp sites under constant monitoring, says Perlis police chief

PADANG BESAR: The area in the Malaysia-Thailand border around Bukit Wang Burma in Wang Kelian, near here which was the found to be the site of a mass grave and human trafficking camp in 2015 is constantly under police monitoring.

Perlis police chief Comm Datuk Muhammad Abdul Halim said the General Operations Force (GOF) and VAT69 conduct patrols on foot regularly in the border area to ensure there are no entry of illegal immigrants or the creation of new camps or graves.

"So far no new graves were detected and reports show no signs of new immigrant camps at the border,” he said.

He told reporters this after carrying out an inspection around Bukit Wang Burma to look at the latest situation at the Malaysia-Thailand border on Saturday (March 3).

The media also joined the operation with the Perlis police chief through the hilly jungle path to reach one of the old camp sites near the Simpang Lima GOF post near here.

The results of Bernama's observation in the survey found that there are still old relics in the surrounding area such as rice containers, food, food trays, clothes, canvas, small boy's teddy bears and drink cans.

For the record, in 2015, then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed 139 graves and camps related to the issue of human trafficking had been found in the Malaysia-Thailand border area.

Following that, in 2019, then home minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported to have said that the government had set up a Royal Commission (RCI) to investigate the case of human trafficking in Wang Kelian in depth.

Comm Muhammad said the survey area was at one of the former camp sites out of a total of 27 active camps at the time believed to be used by smugglers to bring in illegal immigrants using several routes from the border area.

"On our right, a little below the hill is a cemetery which was one of the sites used as a burial ground for illegal immigrants who died while they were taken out using the route through the rubber plantation before meeting the main route to the market in the southern area.

"What we found today (Saturday) were vthe remains left by the illegal immigrants and when we wanted to go up, we found that the path we used was overgrown with bushes blocking the path to the peak,” he said.

Meanwhile, Comm Muhammad said the modus operandi for illegal immigrant smuggling activities into the country is through the state border by cutting the fences and through organised agents or transporters who use the services of locals.

"Based on reports of arrests in Perlis related to illegal immigrants, they are now (believed) to be entering through the fences that have been cut, and through agents or transporters...using the services of locals to pick up these illegal immigrants at the border," he said.

He said that based on interrogations, the police found that an illegal immigrant had to pay about RM5,000 per person for them to reach the promised area.

In the meantime, he said the patrols of GOF and VAT69 teams in the Malaysia-Thailand border area was also to protect the forest treasures found in Perlis so that they are not harvested arbitrarily. - Bernama

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