Foreigners deposited money into the bank account of Malaysian citizens, as a condition to release their family members from the Wang Kelian camp in Perlis, as well as detention camps in Thailand.
This was told at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the discovery of temporary transit camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian on Thursday (May 16).
The 33rd witness, Inspector Mohd Suffian Abdul Rashid, who was previously an investigating officer at the Anti-Money Laundering Unit of the Crime Investigation Division, Bukit Aman, said in October 2015, his division was given a list of nine names from “DSP Woon”.
The nine people were suspected to be involved in the syndicate, three of which were Malaysians who used their bank accounts for the transfer of ransom money, while the remaining six were Thais who were believed to be camp guards.
Two Malaysians – Ku Hamid Ku Musa and Arifin Abdullah Ali – accepted money from the foreigners into their accounts.
Ku Hamid was previously arrested by the police to assist in investigations, while Arifin is still on the loose.
Police did not find any lead on the third Malaysian, “Zubaidah Abdul Razak”.
The Thai citizens did not possess any local bank accounts.
Suffian said investigations found that a Myanmar national deposited RM4,000 into Ku Hamid’s Public Bank account by a Myanmar citizen known as “Abdul Hamid on Oct 2, 2014, for the release of his nephew from the Wang Kelian camp.
A Rohingyan, Zaidul Islam, deposited RM5,800 into Arifin’s CIMB account to secure the release of his uncle who was held in a detention camp in Thailand.
Zaidul was one of 38 illegal immigrants arrested at the foot of Wang Burma hill.
Suffian said investigations conducted on Ku Hamid, who was a Malaysian citizen born in Myanmar and worked as a labourer, found that he had more than RM19,000 in his bank account as well as cheques amounting to RM21,000.
He said Ku Hamid told him he had given his ATM card to a Thai national named Kaw, but efforts by the police to track down Kaw were futile.
Suffian said money and property belonging to Ku Hamid and Arifin, including their vehicles, were forfeited under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
Police froze both bank accounts, and all the money kept in there – RM19,800 belonging to Ku Hamid and RM270 to Ariffin – was forfeited.
A Mitsubishi Triton belonging to Ku Hamid, the down payment of which was believed to be purchased with illicit money, was also seized.
None of the suspects was charged.
Suffian’s testimony corroborates Perlis Special Branch protective security (E6) coordinating officer ASP Wan Ahmad Hamirudeen Wan Ahmad’s statement previously that the SB managed to trace information and evidence obtained from the camps to a local bank account.
Members of the media and the public could only observe the RCI proceedings for about 40 minutes when Suffian was giving his statement.
After he finished, the RCI was conducted closed-doors from 10.40am until it finished at 1.15pm as the evidence given by witnesses was confidential and sensitive.
It is understood that three witnesses gave their statements behind closed doors – two members of the public and the first witness who was recalled by RCI, Kpl Mat Ten of the Third Battalion, General Operations Force in Bedong, Kedah.
To date, 35 witnesses have given their statements to the RCI during 11 days of proceedings. According to a statement from the Home Ministry, the RCI will resume on May 27.
May 15, Wang Kelian RCI: Day 10
May 14, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Nine
May 10, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Eight
May 8, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Seven
Apr 26, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Six
Apr 24, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Five
Apr 23, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Four
Apr 22, Wang Kelian RCI: Day Three
Apr 17, Wang Kelian RCI: Day One