Police claim no foul play in Wang Kelian death camps

A Malaysian policeman leaves the site of the place where human remains were found, near an abandoned human trafficking camp, in the jungle close to the Thailand border at Bukit Wang Burma in northern Malaysia, May 29, 2015. — Reuters pic
A Malaysian policeman leaves the site of the place where human remains were found, near an abandoned human trafficking camp, in the jungle close to the Thailand border at Bukit Wang Burma in northern Malaysia, May 29, 2015. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — No elements of foul play were found in the post-mortem conducted on 26 human remains found at the Wang Kelian camps that used to hold trafficking victims, police said today.

The Star Online reported Perlis police chief Senior Asst Comm (SAC) Shafie Ismail as saying that the cases have been classified as “sudden deaths”. 

“The post-mortem was aimed at determining whether there was any element of foul play and it has been found that no foul play was involved in the deaths,” he was quoted by The Star Online as saying at the Kangar police headquarters.

He added that the 26 were identified to be all male and aged above 17.

On Monday, police completed exhuming 139 graves and retrieved a total of 106 bodies from the 28 transit camps found abandoned by a human trafficking syndicate in Wang Kelian, Perlis, close to the Malaysia-Thai border.

Operations to exhume and remove the skeletal remains that began on May 25 ended on Tuesday.

The police’s conclusion today that there was no foul play in the 26 deaths came despite the fact that the mass graves were located in “death camps” that were believed to be used by human traffickers to hold their victims, mostly Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants, hostage until ransoms were paid.

*An earlier version on this story wrongly attributed Senior Asst Comm (SAC) Shafie Ismail as the Perak police chief when he is actually the Perlis police chief. Malay Mail Online apologises for the error, which has since been corrected.

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