Wang Kelian RCI: Ex-security chief says discovery of human trafficking camps a shock

A policeman watches over abandoned human trafficking camp in the jungle close the Thailand border at Bukit Wang Kelian in northern Malaysia May 26, 2015. — Reuters file pic
A policeman watches over abandoned human trafficking camp in the jungle close the Thailand border at Bukit Wang Kelian in northern Malaysia May 26, 2015. — Reuters file pic

PUTRAJAYA, May 14 ― A former Perlis National Security Council (NSC) director today expressed shock over the discovery of human trafficking camps along the state border with Thailand in Wang Kelian, noting that they were located in rough terrain with little to no access into Malaysia.

Testifying as the 25th witness for the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the matter today, Safrul Faiz Abd Satar said that in his experience, smugglers and illegal immigrants would usually look for easier to access route.

“I was really shocked. This has never happened in Perlis or Kedah because they would not use difficult routes to enter Perlis.

“They are more concentrate on sloping areas that have easier vehicle access from our neighbouring country,” he replied a question from the RCI conducting officer Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad.

Safrul explained that Perlis shared 106 kilometres of border with Thailand, out which only 50 kilometres are fenced up while the rest are classified as being located in rough terrain that are difficult to penetrate, far from populated areas and located in the state's forest reserves.

There were three main areas along the border that did not consist of any General Operations Force guard post, the agency mainly responsible for border security along the Perlis-Thai border.

Safrul who had taken up the post in 2010, said illegal migrant entry from the northern border was a constant problem for all law enforcement agencies in the northern states.

According to him, statistics released by the Department Immigration and other agencies show that illegal immigrants entering the country through Kedah and Perlis were not severe and remain largely the same however said there was an increase in illegal migrants from Myanmar since 2013.

The proceedings later were held in closed-door after Saiful had asked the members of the public and the media to leave after Safrul refused to answer in open court whether the NSC had conducted any meetings with Thai authorities on migrants smuggling.

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