PUTRAJAYA: The Padang Besar Crime Investigation Department (CID) was ordered to stop its probe on the human trafficking camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian in March 2015, less than two months after they were first discovered.
The then Padang Besar CID chief ASP Junaidy Md Saad told the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the case that the instruction was given to him by then district police chief Superintendent Rizani Che Ismail, despite there being clear elements of human trafficking taking place.
He added that the order was given after he, Rizani and several other police officers had on March 6, 2015 visited the temporary human trafficking camp in Wang Kelian that was discovered in January that year, and found human remains buried in one of the graves.
Junaidy said on that day, Rizani had led the team to the location to dig up one of the graves to confirm if there was a human body buried there.
“When we dug one of the suspected graves, we found a body wrapped in a white cloth, and when we opened the cloth, we saw what we believed were human remains.
“However, we did not recover the body, because our mission was only to identify whether there were human bodies in the graves. We took some pictures, reburied the body, and headed back to our station.
“I was later told that investigations would cease temporarily, and received orders from the Padang Besar district police chief to not continue with the probe,” he said today, adding that at that time, he believed there were at least 30 makeshift graves at that particular camp.
According to Junaidy, he first suspected that there was a criminal element in the Wang Kelian case after he and his investigation officers recorded statements from 38 illegal immigrants who were arrested at the camp on Jan 22, 2015.
Junaidy added that it was only on May 11 that year that Bukit Aman had contacted him to provide any information he had, claiming he had met with the then Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim then.
“I was told that the investigation would then be taken over by Bukit Aman,” he said.
He said later on May 25, 2015, the then Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar launched Ops Wawasan Khas 1 — and a separate Ops Wawasan 2 in August the same year — to probe the trafficking camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian.
It was in May that Junaidy said he found out the existence of more camps.
“In total, we found 106 bodies under the first Ops Wawasan, and a further 24 in the subsequent operation. In all, there were about 130 bodies recovered,” he said.