The Malaysian authorities continue their investigations following the discovery in early May many unmarked graves in the jungle in the north, on the border with Thailand. The police suspect that these can be the bodies of 139 migrants .
“According to our investigations, it seems for the moment that [the victims] were properly buried, the bodies of 139 migrants were wrapped in white sheets, like Muslim burials,” said Deputy Minister Wan Junaidi inside, at a press conference in Wang Kelian, a town on the border with Thailand. The police had also discovered twenty to eight camps in the jungle, with sufficient capacity to contain hundreds of migrants.
The authorities are questioning the possible complicity might have had some local policemen, including rangers who take care of security in this area, with the smugglers. According to the BBC, twelve police officers are indeed suspected of involvement in trafficking of human beings. The human rights activist accused longtime Kuala Lumpur do not do enough against trafficking in human beings. Malaysia had initially denied that such camps or graves may exist on its soil.
The area where the graves were found is nevertheless a well-known transit point for smugglers, accompanying migrants from Burma and Bangladesh – including members of the Muslim minority Rohingya – to Malaysia. The police had also found traces of temporary migrant camps on the Thai side of the border.
This discovery had decided to crack Bangkok against trafficking and to adopt a tougher policy against the smugglers. They turned to the sea to carry the thousands of migrants who hoped to achieve the Malaysian nationality, disrupting channels. Within days, three thousand boat people arrived on the shores Thai, Indonesian or Malaysian. Many boats were also turned back by those countries that have attracted the ire of the United Nations.