PUTRAJAYA: A police officer told the royal commission of inquiry into the discovery of mass graves at Wang Kelian that he had kept evidence from a suspected illegal immigrant camp in an insecure place for one week because there were no secure lockers at his post.
The third witness at the RCI, Insp Mohd Mossadique Azni, 37, who was head of the DS9 Post at Padang Besar, added that he was unaware of any standard operating procedures or instructions from superiors in handling cases involving illegal immigrants.
He added that the six suspected illegal immigrants they detained in January 2015, who he said were Bangladeshis and Rohingya, were in “good condition” except for some scars.
This contradicted the testimonies of two previous witnesses who had said the six were weak and injured.
The inspector said he led nine men to raid a camp discovered on a hill in Wang Kelian after a few people escaped from a syndicate believed involved in human trafficking.
He had earlier been given instructions by his superior to gather information about the camp.
He said following the raid, Corporal Mat Ten, who was part of the raiding party, handed over several items found at the scene. “These items were a book which contained Thai writings, a Thai licence, a mobile phone, three SIM cards (for handphones), a DVD and a few CDs.”
He added that the other eight policemen did not find any other evidence. He said he then informed his superior, who in turn lodged a report. However, the inspector said he was uncertain about the contents of the report.
He had kept the exhibits with him in an unlocked place for one week before passing them to ASP Azizie Mohd on Jan 28, 2015, but without a formal declaration using case evidence handover forms.
He said he had passed them to him because his post did not have any secure lockers or cupboards to keep these items.
Azizie, 39, took the stand next. He said he was then a disciplinary officer with Battalion 3 of the General Operations Force. He was based in Bidor, Perak, but went to the DS9 Post at Padang Besar after being instructed to conduct an “evaluation” of the policemen on Jan 28, 2015.
“I conducted evaluations with regards to whether or not the members were carrying out their duties based on the roster. I also checked the weapons provided to them.”
He said it was then that Mossadique asked him to store the evidence they had found in the jungle camp. He said he forgot whether he had recorded receiving the items, although he had his logbook with him that day.
He acknowledged that receiving case evidence was beyond his jurisdiction.
He also informed the RCI that before he arrived at the post, he was contacted by one Insp Jamaluddin Shah asking him to ask the officers involved in the camp raid if they had found any items on the hill.
Azizie kept the items for one night, before passing them to Jamaluddin on Jan 29, 2015.
“I had filled in the evidence forms at the Special Branch office at the Padang Besar district police headquarters on Jan 29, 2015 and handed it to the inspector (Jamaluddin).
“After I had passed over the items, I had no other association with the case. I don’t even know what happened to the items.”
The RCI was set up by the home ministry to look into the discovery of mass graves and human trafficking camps at Wang Kelian three years ago.
Former chief justice Arifin Zakaria leads the inquiry panel. Other panel members are former inspector-general of police Norian Mai, Noorbahri Baharuddin, Razali Ismail, Junaidah Abd Rahman, Nazirah Hussain and Tan Seng Giaw. Yusran Shah Yusof is the secretary of the RCI.
The public hearing resumes tomorrow.