Two Malaysians involved in trafficking humans across Thai border, ex-cop tells Wang Kelian RCI

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 16 ― Police tracked down at least two Malaysians during its hunt for a cross border syndicate that was trafficking in humans and suspected to be operating illegal migrant camps near the country’s Perlis boundary with Thailand, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the horrific Wang Kelian mass graves were told today.

Formerly with Bukit Aman’s Anti-Money Laundering Division, Inspector Mohd Suffian Abdul Rashid told the inquiry that police received nine names of suspected smugglers during its investigation on Wang Kelian in October 2015 ― six of them were Thai and the remaining three Malaysian.

Of the three, police were only able to find sufficient trace on two, identified as  Ku Hamid Ku Musa and Ariffin Abdullah Ali, from a money trail of ransom demanded from the relatives of the illegal immigrants who were held captive in Wang Kelian and other transit camps on the Thai side of the border.

“Based on my investigations, we managed to produce two witnesses that stated they have deposited money into the accounts of Ku Hamid and Ariffin to release captives at the Wang Kelian camp,” Mohd Suffian, who was the division’s case investigating officer, disclosed.

The 33rd witness into the RCI related that a Myanmar national named Abdul Hamid deposited RM4,000 on October 2, 2014, into the first Malaysian Ku Hamid’s account while another Myanmar national named Zaidul Islam deposited RM5,800 on November 25, 2014, into Ariffin's bank account.

Zaidul Islam, Rohingya, was one of the 38 illegal immigrants arrested at the Wang Kelian transit camp, said Mohd Suffian.

He said police invoked the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 to freeze the bank accounts of Ku Hamid and Ariffin and impound a Mitsubishi Triton MPV, believed bought by Ariffin with illicit monies, and assets valued at RM41,000 in their raids over the Wang Kelian camp.

Hearing for the next three witnesses for today were ordered to be held behind closed doors. RCI conducting officer Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad said their testimonies contained confidential information.

Malay Mail understands the next two witnesses were civilians while Corporal Mat Ten from the General Operations Force was being recalled.

The RCI is scheduled to resume public next hearing on May 27 and 28.

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