PUTRAJAYA: Thailand authorities may have encouraged illegal immigrants that were detained in their country to enter Malaysia, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Wang Kelian human-trafficking camp and mass graves was told today.
Assistant Superintendent Jamaluddin Shah Mohd Jawan claimed this was done by setting up temporary camps on the southern part of Thailand close to the Malaysian border, which he said were similar to the one found in Wang Kelian, Perlis.
Jamaluddin Shah, who was the Padang Besar Special Branch (SB) chief during the discovery of the Wang Kelian camp in early 2015, added that based on investigations, many of the illegal immigrants who entered Malaysia were also found to have been earlier arrested by Thai authorities.
“Based on information gathered, some of the detainees, which could not fit in the detention centres in Thailand due to overpopulation, would be sent to the Southern area, most probably as an excuse to move them to our country.
“Actually, the illegal immigrants were not running away. The Thai authorities have set up settlements that were so close to our border as temporary camps, with the excuse that their detention centres can’t hold all the immigrants,” he said, here today.
When asked by the panel if this meant the Thais were indirectly encouraging the immigrants to enter Malaysia, Jamaluddin Shah said: “Yes. This is based on our intelligence.”
“Because when we were looking at the camps in Thailand, they are similar to the one in our country. But none of the items and materials found at the camps were from Malaysia,” he added.
He said he discovered distinct similarities between the camps in Thailand and the one in Malaysia after he joined a major operation with Thai authorities on May 1, 2015, claiming that the graves and camp structure looked almost the same.