WANG KELIAN (Perlis) - The campsites discovered on the hill near the Malaysia-Thai border in Perlis here are relatively new.
There is no evidence that they were there for up to several years, said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tunku Jaafar.
"The twigs and branches found there were still quite new and the barks were still intact with no signs of rotting.
"Police have dug up three more bodies and the white cloth used to wrap them was found to be relatively new," he said at the General Operations Force tactical base here yesterday.
Asked why it took the authorities time to discover the camps, he said they do not operate on such high ground due to inaccessibility of the hill from the Malaysian side.
Some areas were more than 570m above sea level and had steep terrain.
Dr Wan Junaidi also said the Malaysia-Thai border in these areas were marked by border markers, but not fencing or walls.
"The camp is located on top of the hill and our patrol teams don't really go to the top, because it was assumed that people don't usually go up there," he added.
"We will also ask the Government to put up fencing or walls along the Malaysia-Thai border," he added.
In a statement issued last night, Bukit Aman said nine skeletal remains were exhumed from the graves at Bukit Wang Burma in Wang Kelian, bringing the total number of bodies recovered so far to 13.
Four more bodies were recovered from the campsites yesterday. One was found in a shack and the others were exhumed from shallow graves.
Dr Wan Junaidi clarified that not all the 12 arrested in relation to the case are policemen.
Dr Wan Junaidi denied that Malaysian smugglers were also the leaders or masterminds.