12 cops held over Wang Kelian human trafficking case freed


PETALING JAYA: Policemen detained over involvement in human trafficking camps and mass graves discovered in Perlis have been released due to lack of “strong evidence”.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also home minister, in a written reply to Sim Chee Keong (DAP-Bukit Mertajam) in Parliament today, said a dozen cops were released.

Sim had asked for the status of the investigation into the camps and 139 graves found in the jungles of Wang Kelian in May 2015. Police also rescued about 30 people left behind in the camps.

“Twelve police personnel, suspected of being involved in the migrant trafficking syndicate, were detained under the Atipsom (Anti-Trafficking In Person and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants) Act and Poca (Prevention of Crime Act).

“However, they were released because there was no strong evidence to charge them with the offence,” said Zahid.

However, he said four foreigners had been arrested and charged with human trafficking. One is a citizen of Bangladesh, two from Myanmar and one from Thailand.

All had been convicted and sentenced to jail terms of three to 10 years each, except the Thai accused, who was still under trial, he said.

Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission arrested the 12 policemen shortly after the camps and graves were discovered.

The camps had wooden pens, some with barbed wire and guarded by sentry posts. Some of the graves contained multiple bodies of those who died of disease and malnutrition.

The camps are believed to have served as transit points along a route used to smuggle mostly Rohingya people from Myanmar and Bangladesh.