BANGKOK: Thai authorities have confirmed that a Malaysian man who was linked to the Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist group left the country on April 21.
According to National Security Council (NSC) chief Gen Thawip Netniyom, Immigration records showed that Muhammad Muzaffa Arieff Junaidi, from Rantau Panjang, Kelantan, left Thailand via the Sungai Golok Immigration checkpoint on that day.
“Our recent record showed he left Thailand legally through the Sungai Golok Immigration checkpoint on April 21. We also have the record when he entered Thailand,” he told the media here today but declined to elaborate.
Thailand would conduct a search for the wanted man if its Malaysian counterpart shared information regarding his alleged involvement with the terrorist group, said the NSC chief.
His statement was in response to an announcement by Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar two days ago on the arrest of six individuals for suspected links with the Daesh terrorist group.
The IGP had also said Muzaffa managed to evade arrest and fled into southern Thailand with two firearms, namely a pistol and M-4 Carbine assault rifle.
Thawip also stressed that there was no evidence of the existence of a Daesh cell in the country but promised the authorities would continue monitoring the group and exchange intelligence information with other countries.
“We need to exchange information with other countries and monitor the travelling activities of returning Daesh members,” he said.
A security source in southern Thailand told Bernama that the Kelantanese was a regular traveller into southern Thailand with Immigration records showing he entered the border provinces at least nine times recently.
“The latest Immigration records showed he exited Thailand through the Sungai Golok Immigration checkpoint about 5am on April 21, ” he said, adding that the immigration record only showed legal entry and exit.
On allegations of arms smuggling from southern Thailand into Malaysia by people suspected of having links with Daesh, he said Thailand needed more information from its neighbour.
“Information which we obtained now showed it only involved a few weapons,” he said, adding that, Malaysia and Thailand needed to increase the frequency of their intelligence exchanges, especially when it involved threats posed by the Daesh terrorist group and its members.
Malaysian police have alleged Muzaffa belonged to the same terror cell responsibe for smuggling arms from southern Thailand into Malaysia.