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Three Rohingya arrested to shed light on mass graves

A crowd gathers around a mass grave with the remains of unidentified Rohingya found at a traffickers camp in Wang Kelian last month, at a cemetery near Alor Setar, Malaysia, June 22, 2015. — Reuters

By Farik Zolkepli
June 24, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman is a step closer towards exposing those behind the mass graves and human trafficking camps at the Malaysia-Thai border with the arrests of three migrants.

The Rohingyas with UNHCR cards were nabbed in Johor four days ago.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the migrants were believed to be among those who were at the camp in Wang Kelian.

“Initial investigations show that they might have been victims too but it is still too early to say as we are just beginning to interview them,” he told a press conference after launching the high-definition version of the classic movie Bukit Kepong yesterday.

He said police were keen to find out what happened at the camps.

Asked whether there was any evidence of torture on the exhumed bodies, the IGP said it was not easy to determine whether the victims were tortured or murdered.

“We are still doing the post-mortems and we found one victim with a broken rib cage.

“We cannot say for sure if he was tortured or suffered the injury from a fall,” he said.

Khalid also confirmed that the police were still holding discussions with the relevant agencies over the government’s proposal to assign only one agency to be responsible for border security.

“We have enough enforcement agencies but we really need to improve our equipment and security system.

“If the government feels it is better to have one new department, we will respect that but we will also give our input,” he said.

The IGP said the discussions with other agencies identified problems with jurisdiction and legal issues.

“If smuggling occurs, the army, for example, does not have jurisdiction to arrest and they still need the police to assist,” he said.

Khalid said Thai police had yet to hand over several key suspects and the mastermind of the human trafficking racket.

“We will send officers to question the suspects as Thai police have still not handed them over to us,” he said.

On another matter, he confirmed that Bukit Aman had recorded the statement of Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz over causing a public furore and his “challenge” to Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim.

“We will hand over the investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers soon,” he said.

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Rohingya Exodus