Malaysia detains 2 police for links to graves

Deputy home minister says trafficking victims not buried in ‘mass graves’ since 4 bodies exhumed so far were found in separate graves

Malaysia detains 2 police for links to graves

World Bulletin / News Desk

Malaysia has detained two more policemen on suspicion of involvement in a human trafficking scandal that has led to thousands of Muslim migrants being trapped on boats in Southeast Asia’s seas.

The officers were held for their alleged role in the killing of human trafficking victims at a smuggling camp near Malaysia’s border with Thailand.

Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar confirmed Thursday that eight other Malaysian officers have also been arrested in a sweep of the country’s force by the Anti-Corruption Commission for alleged involvement in human trafficking, although the cases were not connected.

On Monday, the country’s police chief confirmed the discovery of 139 graves – some initially thought to contain around four bodies - at 28 camps in the border town of Padang Besar.

The deputy minister stated Thursday that the term "mass graves" is incorrect, as all the graves that were found in the hilly areas of Bukit Wan Burma in Padang Besar were proper burial sites containing just one body.

"It was not 'mass graves'. What we have found at the sites were proper burial sites," he told reporters.

He also said discoveries so far have seen the recovery of four bodies, each in a separate grave, which may result in a total of 139 victims being found by the end of the exhumation process.

“Based on the size of the graves, and after the area was cleared, we have a clearer indication of single grave, single person,” Wan Junaidi added.

“The bodies were wrapped in white cloth like the Muslim burial. Some are shallow graves, but not all,” he said, adding that the site where each body was buried had been marked with wooden sticks.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mayıs 2015, 12:50