NGO: Easy for illegals to cross Thai-Malaysian border

NGO: Easy for illegals to cross Thai-Malaysian border
Easy access: The stone that indicates the border between Malaysia and Thailand up in the hills near Padang Besar. There is no fence or barricade.

Trafficking humans across the Thai border into Malaysia is literally a walk in the park, according to a Thai Muslim NGO.

Up in the hills near Padang Besar, there is a border stone.

"The stone indicates the border between Malaysia and Thailand. There is no fencing, gate or any kind of barricade," said Muslim for Peace Foundation Committee member Yuttana Sarasit.

"It is easy for illegal immigrants to cross over into Malaysia. The Kao Keow Mountain in Padang Besar is very huge, spanning Rattaphum district to Satun province," he said.

Yuttana insisted that there are human trafficking camps and graves on the Malaysian side of the border, although no evidence has been found by Malaysian authorities.

He claimed that trafficking across the border has been going on for many years.

Yuttana, who is in charge of Rohingya and Bangladeshi matters after the recent discovery of mass graves, said helpers from his NGO had gone to the Malaysian side of Padang Besar through the jungle and found "holding camps".

"Last month, when we went there with villagers, we saw two or three camps on the Malaysian side, some 300m from the Malaysia-Thai border," he claimed when met at the district office here yesterday. He said they found chains and 50 graves around the camp.

Home ministry secretary-general Alwi Ibrahim said on Sunday that there was no evidence of camps on the Malaysian side of the border.

Yesterday, The Star team followed some 150 security personnel and villagers to the Kao Kaew Mountain.

After more than two hours of trekking through hilly terrain, the group found at least two abandoned camp sites. Muslim women's clothes, songkok of a Malaysian brand and sachets of instant coffee powder were found at the sites.

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