• Wednesday, Nov 21, 2018
  • Last Update : 05:56 pm

One body per grave, says Malaysia

  • Published at 08:27 am May 28th, 2015

The 139 graves found near migrants-trafficking camps in northern Malaysia holds only one body each, Malaysia's deputy home minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar has said.

The Malaysian minister came up with the statement on Thursday, following previous suspicions that they could contain multiple corpses of trafficked migrants.

"There is no mass grave. This is one person, one grave," Reuters quoted Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

In a press conference near the grave sites, the minister said that the bodies had been buried with "proper white wrapping" and ceremonial camphor had been used.

"Based on the size of the graves, and after the area was cleared... we have a clearer indication -- single grave, single person," he told reporters.

"The reason for the exhumation is to see whether a crime has been committed, violence was made against those people," the minister added.

"Based on our findings so far, seems like proper burial, the bodies were wrapped in white cloth. It is like the Muslim burial ... some are shallow graves, not all," Wan Junaidi said at a press conference in the border town of Wang Kelian.

Four bodies have so far been recovered since Malaysian police forensic teams began digging this week at abandoned jungle camps along the Malaysia-Thailand border. Wan Junaidi said the task should be completed by the first week of June.

Wan Junaidi had said on Wednesday that 12 Malaysian police officials had been detained as a result, but on Thursday clarified that only two were directly connected with the discovery of the graves near the border village of Wang Kelian.

"Actually, two of them are suspects connected to the graves at Wang Kelian," the minister said. "The remainder are connected to human trafficking and to the operation we started in 2014. No connection to the graves."

He said the two police officers were suspected of involvement in transporting the migrants, but did not elaborate.