I was told to make a false police report, cop tells Wang Kelian inquiry

PUTRAJAYA: A witness told the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the mass graves and human trafficking camps at Wang Kelian that he was asked to draft a false police report about a group of undocumented migrants detained at the foot of Wang Burma hill.

Inspector Husyairi Muhd Musa, the 18th witness in the inquiry, was with the operations intelligence department at the Padang Besar district police headquarters.

He said he received the order from then-district police chief SUPT Rizani Che Ismail.

He said he received a call from Rizani who instructed him to collect a group of five individuals arrested by the Special Branch at the Perlis police headquarters.

He was told to go to a location at the Perlis National Park near a garbage disposal site.

He said he drove to a spot by the side of the road to collect the individuals and bring them back to the district headquarters.

There, he said, he saw what he assumed were Special Branch members, some in uniform and others in normal clothing.

He said he was unable to identify the men despite having been in the district department for the past five years.

“The arrest was made by Special Branch. I am not sure who.

“My district police chief said it was related to an arrest that had already taken place, and he asked me to go to the national park area,” he said.

He said this was not the usual procedure, as the arresting officers are normally the ones who submit the report.

“But I was told by my superior (ASP Rizani) to draft the police report saying that I had stumbled upon suspicious looking individuals during one of my rounds and had arrested them myself,” he told the inquiry.

“The report was not true, but I was instructed to draft it that way, so I had no choice.”

Husyairi said when recording the statements of the arrested men, he discovered that two of them were Thai. One of them had a pistol while another carried a machete. One of them was as young as 15.

The 17th eyewitness in the RCI, Inspector Mohamad Afiq Sarmid, said he had arrested five illegal immigrants in the jungle and brought them to the foot of the Wang Burma hill.

He said some were armed with weapons such as a pistol and a machete, and some were undocumented. One of them carried Thai identification documents.

“I could not communicate with them as they could not understand Bahasa Malaysia or even English,” he said.

Afiq said he had found them about 200m from an abandoned camp that he and his team discovered while combing through the jungle in the Genting Perah area in Perlis.

Afiq was the commander of Troop 8, attached to VAT 69 Commando at the Royal Malaysia Police.

He led a team of 24 men to search the jungle at Genting Perah for illegal immigrant camps, based on information from the Special Branch.

Afiq said he was told to do so in order to confirm the information regarding jungle camps in the area.

The operation ran from March 11 to 13, 2015.

Afiq said it took them two days to reach a specific site in the jungle, suspected to be a camp site.

“At that point, what was left was just the wooden structures and poles. There was no one and nothing in the area,” he told the inquiry.

After making the arrests and discovering the camp, he said, his team was told to withdraw operations.

“Our instructions were to withdraw and to hand over any arrests or confiscated items, if we found any, to the Special Branch.”

The RCI was set up by the home ministry to look into the discovery of mass graves and human trafficking camps at Wang Kelian in 2015.

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.