PADANG BESAR: The area in the Malaysia-Thailand border around Bukit Wang Burma, Wang Kelian near here which was the found to be the site of a mass grave and camp of human trafficking in 2015 is constantly under police monitoring.

Perlis police chief Datuk Muhammad Abdul Halim said the General Operations Force (PGA) and VAT 69 are conducting patrol on foot regularly in the border area to ensure there are no entry of illegal immigrant or the creation of new camps or graves.

“So far no new graves were detected and reports show no signs of new immigrant camps at the border,” he said .

He told reporters after carrying an inspection around Bukit Wang Burma to look at the latest situation at the Malaysia-Thailand border yesterday.

The media also joined the operation with the Perlis police chief through the hilly jungle path to reach one of the old camp sites which took more than three hours to reach the Simpang Lima PGA Post near here about four kilometres away.

The results of Bernama's observation in the survey found that there are still old relics in the surrounding area such as rice containers, food, food trays, clothes, canvas, small boy's teddy bears and drink cans.

For the record, in 2015, the then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed 139 graves and camps related to the issue of human trafficking found in the Malaysia-Thailand border area.

Following that, in 2019, the then Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported to have said that the government had set up a Royal Commission (RCI) to investigate the case of human trafficking in Wang Kelian in depth.

Muhammad said the survey area was at one of the former camp sites out of a total of 27 active camps then believed to be used by smugglers to bring in illegal immigrants at that time using several routes from the border area.

“On our right, a little below the hill is a cemetery which was one of the sites used as a burial ground for illegal immigrants who died while they were taken out using the route through the rubber plantation before meeting the main route to the market in the Southern area.

“What we found today (yesterday) was the remains left by illegal immigrants and when we wanted to go up, we found that the path we used was overgrown with bushes blocking the path to the peak,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhammad said the modus operandi of illegal immigrants smuggling activities into the country now is through the state border by cutting the fencing and through organised agents or transporters who use the services of local people.

“Based on reports of arrests in Perlis related to illegal immigrants, they are now (believed) to be entering through the fencing that has been cut off, and through agents or transporters...using the services of local people to pick up these illegal immigrants at the border, brought in using local vehicles,“ he said.

He said that based on interrogation, he found that an illegal immigrant had to pay about RM5,000 per person for them to reach the promised area.

In the meantime, he said the patrol of PGA and the 69 Commando team in the Malaysia-Thailand border area is also to protect the forest treasures found in Perlis so that they are not invaded arbitrarily.

“...in this forest reserve area in Perlis (it is believed) to be a target for poachers, looking for agarwood,“ he said. -Bernama

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