PUTRAJAYA — June 13, 2019: A police officer believed that more than one human trafficking syndicate were suspected to have set up the illegal base discovered four years ago in the jungles of Wang Kelian bordering Perlis and Thailand.
ASP Mohd. Yusof Ariffin of the Vat 69 commando team came to this conclusion based on his observations on the layout of the 16 sites that were turned into temporary transit camps when he joined the operations in May 2015.
“There were food trays in one base, while in another no trays were found. Items found also differed from one base to another. There were bases secured with barbed wires while some had no fencing. We found no graves at all these bases,” he said.
According to Yusof, other items found at all 16 sites were Thai rice, stale cooked rice, a teddy bear and clothes. The teams also found a tent at one base which had been used as a surau and which had the name Musafirin written on it.
In reply to RCI chairman Tun Ariffin Zakaria on why such a large scale transit camp was not discovered much earlier, Yusof said a layman would not venture into thick jungle without a good reason.
“Moreover, on the Malaysian side the area fronting the jungle is where the Perlis State Park is located, which requires a permit to enter. The distance from the jungle fringes right to the camp located in the middle of the jungle is about 35 kilometres via a zig-zag route. To reach the camp, you will need very high level of jungle exploration expertise as there are many natural barriers along the way, besides contours with extremely steep slopes,” he testified.
When asked for his suggestions on how to beef up security there, Yusof said that previously-used logging tracks can be cleared to allow enforcement personnel to use scrambler motorcycles for omnipresence patrolling thrice a month.
Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission chairman Datuk A. Aziz A. Rahim testified that there was no evidence to support allegations of a coordinated cover up of the camp’s discovery by any police officer or those from other agencies.
“Media reports have also not finger pointed any officer said to have tried to cover up the case. If at all, action must be taken against any officer identified to have done so. We cannot punish the whole police force,” he said.
The RCI continues on Monday. — Bernama