Ex-IGP: Wang Kelian, a safe haven for Thai human traffickers

Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the temporary transit camps in Wang Kelian, Perlis is a safe haven for human trafficking camps operating in Thailand. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the temporary transit camps in Wang Kelian, Perlis is a safe haven for human trafficking camps operating in Thailand. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, June 17 — The temporary transit camps in Wang Kelian, Perlis is a safe haven for human trafficking camps operating in Thailand, said former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

In giving his statement as the 47th witness on the 16th day of the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the discovery of transit camps and mass graves today, Khalid said the masterminds of human smuggling are from Thailand.

“Investigations did not show 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 whose presence at the RCI hearing drew almost full turnout at the public gallery.

Khalid said the temporary transit camps in Wang Kelian located about 200 metres 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.

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 left out of police patrol, Khalid said patrol on the area was difficult due to bad physical terrain and 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 stepped up.

When asked on possible proposals, he said the usage of technological gadgets such as drones, cameras and sensors could be considered. — Bernama

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