KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — The dozen cops who were detained over suspected collusion with human traffickers, who used smuggling camps in Padang Besar, Perlis, as a transit point to hold migrants, have been released.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the police officers were let go after no strong evidence were found against them.
“Twelve PDRM officials who were suspected of being involved with migrant trafficking syndicate were detained under the Atipsom (Anti-Trafficking In Person and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants) Act and POCA (Prevention of Crime Act).
“However, they were released because there was no strong evidence to charge them for the offence,” the home minister said in a parliamentary written reply, using the Malay acronym for the Royal Malaysian Police.
He was responding to a question by DAP’s Bukit Mertajam MP Sim Chee Keong who had asked about the investigation status into the smuggling camps, also known as the Wang Kelian camps.
Sim also questioned the investigation status on the 12 cops, the total number of suspects detained and charged, and if there were any government officers involved and the departments they were attached to.
In May 2015, 12 police officers were arrested over the human trafficking case — four by the police and eight by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Police had then uncovered 139 graves, exhumed more than 70 skeletal remains and rescued 28 people abandoned at slave-like camps in a jungle in Perlis.