Malaysia finds 139 graves in trafficking camps

May 26, 2015 07:47
Malaysian policemen carry body bags with human remains found at the site of human trafficking camps near the Thai border. Authorities said on Monday that they found 139 graves in more than two dozen camps. Photo: Reuters

Malaysian police said on Monday that they have found 139 graves in more than two dozen suspected people-trafficking camps across the border with Thailand.

"It's a very sad scene... To us even one is serious and we have found 139 (graves)," Reuters quoted national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar as saying. "We are working closely with our counterparts in Thailand. We will find the people who did this."

Khalid said bullet casings were found in the vicinity and added there were signs that torture had been used. Metal chains were found near some graves.

"We were shocked by the cruelty," said Khalid, describing conditions at the 28 abandoned camps, scattered along a 50-kilometer stretch of the Thai border.

The grisly find, which came in an operation that began on May 11, follows the discovery of similar shallow graves on the Thai side of the border earlier this month.

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims are ferried by traffickers through southern Thailand each year. In recent years it has been common for them to be held in remote camps along the border with Malaysia until a ransom is paid for their freedom.

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