Police links to migrants probed


WANG KELIAN, Malaysia: Malaysian police are investigating 12 of their officers to determine whether they had links to mass graves at human-trafficking camps found in the remote north, a top official was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Four of the officers had been arrested during various police investigations since early last year, Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insider news portal.

The report did not detail the nature of those investigations.

Another eight were detained by Malaysia’s anti-corruption authority for alleged involvement in human trafficking, he added. The report did not say over what timeframe the arrests were made.

“We will have to see whether or not there are any links to the camps,” Wan Junaidi was quoted saying.

“Because the arrests were made in the north, we suspect there may be some connection.”

There were no further details.

Wan Junaidi was due to give a press conference in the area where the graves were found on Thursday morning.

Malaysian police said earlier this week that a total of 139 gravesites and 28 recently abandoned camps had been found along the northern border with Thailand, capable of housing hundreds of people.

Police believe they were used by human traffickers and smugglers. It is still unclear how many bodies the graves hold.

Thai police in early May had uncovered similar camps on their side of the border.

They launched a crackdown that disrupted the flow of migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar down through Thailand and across the land border into Malaysia.

That left boats loaded with hundreds of starving migrants stuck at sea. Malaysia and Indonesia recently agreed to let vessels land safely following an international outcry.

Malaysian police said 37 people have been arrested this year on suspicion of human trafficking, but have given no details.



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