Witness says he investigated 3 locals linked to human trafficking in Wang Kelian

The government’s RCI is looking into the 2015 discovery of mass graves and human trafficking camps at Wang Kelian.

PUTRAJAYA: A witness in the Wang Kelian royal commission of inquiry (RCI) today said he investigated three Malaysians believed to be linked to a human trafficking syndicate involved in the jungle camp discovered on Jan 19, 2015.

Inspector Mohd Suffian Abd Rashid, the 33rd witness in the inquiry, was an investigating officer at Bukit Aman’s Anti-Money Laundering division.

He said the three Malaysians were initially suspected of holding bank accounts used to receive ransom

Inspector Mohd Suffian Abd Rashid, a former investigating officer at the Anti-Money Laundering division at Bukit Aman said the three Malaysians were initially suspected of having bank accounts that were being used to receive ransom for the trafficking victims.

He said he had received a list of nine names from “DSP Woon”, an investigating officer looking into the smuggling of illegal immigrants in Wang Kelian under Section 26 A of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007.

He said six of the nine names were of Thai nationals, believed to be caretakers of the camp at Wang Burma hill.

The other three were Malaysians: Ku Hamid Ku Musa (Public Bank account), Ariffin Abdullah Ali (CIMB account) and Zubaida Abdul Razak (Maybank account).

He said the police only managed to track down Ku Hamid, a Myanmarese born in Malaysia, whom they arrested to assist in investigations. They were unable to find Ariffin at either of the two addresses linked to him.

Suffian said only the accounts of Hamid and Ariffin, which were later frozen, were investigated under Section 56 (1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act. Zubaida’s account could not be linked to any syndicate activities.

One of the accounts, belonging to Ariffin, was active up until December 2015.

Suffian told the inquiry he found two witnesses who had deposited money into the two accounts for the release of family members who were kept hostage at the camp.

One witness, Abdul Hamid, deposited RM4,000 into Ku Hamid’s account on Oct 2, 2014 for the release of his nephew, Suffian said. He added that this was the only transaction on the account with proven links to a syndicate.

He said police also seized assets worth RM41,000 from Ku Hamid, more than RM19,000 which was left in his account, and RM22,000 which was withdrawn as downpayment for a Mitsubishi Triton.

“We interrogated him, and Ku Hamid was unable to properly explain the money deposited into the account,” he said.

According to Suffian, Ku Hamid said in a statement that he had given his ATM card to a Thai friend called Kaw. However, the police were unable to identify or trace the individual in question.

They also traced two separate transactions totalling RM5,800 made by a Rohingya by the name of Zaidul Islam in November 2014 for the release of her uncle who was being held at the camp.

Zaidul was one of 38 illegal immigrants arrested at the foot of Wang Burma hill.

None of the suspects were charged, Suffian said.

Another witness, ASP Wan Ahmad Hamirudeen Wan Ahmad, previously told the inquiry that a bank account number written in a notebook found during a raid in Wang Burma had been traced to a Malaysian individual.

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.

The third session of the RCI concluded with three closed hearings, including a recall of the first eyewitness, Corp Mat Ten.

The RCI continues on May 27.