PERLIS – Malaysia’s Inspector General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar, told reporters in the northern state of Perlis they have found 139 graves, in more than two dozen squalid human trafficking camps suspected to have been used by gangs smuggling migrants across the border with Thailand.
Inspector General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar said, some of the bodies found in 139 graves in human trafficking camps on the Malaysia-Thailand border showed signs they were tortured before they were killed.
Rohingya Muslims fleeing Burma used Malaysia as an escape route and police found more than 28 abandoned camps used by gangs smuggling migrants across the border with Thailand.
The Perlis area, which borders the Thai province of Songkhla, is dense jungle. This makes it difficult to police and easy for refugees to hide, but it also makes it easy for traffickers to prey on refugees and move them through networks of temporary camps.
“It’s a very sad scene . . . To us even one is serious, and we have found 139,” Malaysia’s inspector general of police Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters in the northern state of Perlis. “We are working closely with our counterparts in Thailand. We will find the people who did this.”
Footage showed bodies in plastic bags being lined up in a clearing in the forest.
Mr Khalid said it was unclear how many bodies were in each grave but that the work had begun to exhume the corpses. Some of the camps were so large they could have held up to 300 bodies. He said metal chains were found near some graves.
“We were shocked by the cruelty,” said Mr Khalid.
His operation began on May 11th and discovered camps and way stations used by smugglers along a 50km stretch of border.
Ammunition was also discovered, suggesting the gangs were armed.