KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: Sharlinie Mohd Nashar may have been smuggled out of the country by a human trafficking syndicate.
This is an angle police are investigating since the five-year-old had gone missing on Jan 9.
For the first time, Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said that Sharlinie's case might involve an international syndicate.
He was speaking to reporters after launching the First Asean Regional Crime Prevention Foundation (ARCPF) working group meeting yesterday.
He said this when replying to a question on whether Sharlinie's case was linked to international human trafficking syndicate.
Sharlinie was believed to have been abducted while playing at a playground near her house in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya.
Musa said the issue of human trafficking would be discussed during the meeting, which started yesterday and ends tomorrow.
He said police would continue working with their Asean counterparts in collating information on human trafficking.
Earlier in his speech, Musa said human trafficking was a crime against humanity and there was a need for an integrated approach to curb it and protect the victims.
He said virtually every country in the world was affected by sexual exploitation and forced labour.
"These have evolved into transnational organised crime which is a threat to human security," he said.
Transnational organised crime includes trafficking in drugs, human beings and firearms, smuggling of migrants and money laundering.
Musa said that ARCPF could work closely with governments, international organisations and civil society to counter the pervasive influence of organised and drug trafficking.