Wang Kelian RCI: Trafficking continued after camps found

12 Jun 2019 / 20:17 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The Wang Kelian human trafficking syndicate could have been operating for several years before it was discovered by police in January 2015, based on post-mortems conducted on the victims.

Several victims were also found to have died between February and May 2015, indicating that the syndicate may have still been in operation despite the discovery of the trafficking camps months earlier.

According to the lead forensic consultant Dr Mohd Suhani Mohd Noor, tests conducted on the remains showed that some of the victims could have been dead for up to four years.

“The oldest corpse could be several years old, but this is subjective. My best guess is that three or four years can be a logical and reasonable number,“ he told a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Wang Kelian case today.

The Kedah Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital senior forensic consultant said: “We did tests on over 100 bodies, some had only died a few weeks ago, some a few years. We are talking about a wide range of time. This means there were activities going on (during these times),“ he said.

Mohd Suhani told the RCI that the forensics team received 108 body bags from the police between May 25 and June 8, 2015. However, following the autopsies, it was determined that there were 114 corpses, 16 of which were of individuals aged between 10 and 20.

He added that the forensics team was only able to determine the cause of death for two of the victims as the remaining bodies were highly decomposed.

One had succumbed to pneumonia and the other died of coronary artery disease, with both showing no signs of being tortured or physically abused.

Another witness, Penang General Hospital senior forensics consultant Datuk Dr Zahari Noor, told the RCI that one of the bodies he examined was believed to have been buried just a week before the police exhumed it in late May.

“At most, I would say it was only a month (since he died). The body still had soft tissue. He possibly died in May,“ he said.

The revelation that some of the victims were killed and buried in makeshift graves up until May 2015 comes a surprise considering the police had discovered the existence of the human trafficking camps and mass graves in January that year, when over 30 illegal immigrants were arrested.

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