PUTRAJAYA, April 18 (Bernama) -- The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the discovery of temporary settlement camps and mass graves in Wang Kelian was told today that the victims had to pay more than RM2,000 if they wanted to enter the country.
Commander of Company B, Battalion 3, North Brigade General Operations Force (PGA), DSP Joeking M. Maniam Anthony said that the matter was revealed by one of the 38 victims detained by his team during the raid on the camps on Jan 19, 2015.
Testifying as the fifth witness in the inquiry today, Joeking said the illegal immigrants paid RM2,000 to one agent before they were taken to Malaysia.
“Once arrived, they were forced to walk into the jungle before reaching the settlement camps in Bukit Burma. There, there were asked to pay another sum of money to the agent to secure a job or being left at the camp,” he said.
The proceedings at Dewan Gemilang of the Home Ministry here are being conducted before RCI Chairman Tun Arifin Zakaria, a former Chief Justice, and six other RCI members.
Joeking said of the 38 illegal immigrants, only one Bangladeshi national could speak Malay and English, and he was the one who provided the information to the police.
“They were weak, hungry and tired. I gave them some water and bread before lodging a report at the Padang Besar Police headquarters,” he said in reply to conducting officer Khairul Anuar Abd Halim.
Joeking said he was also made to understand, based on his conversation with the Bangladeshi man, that 12 other illegal immigrants had escaped.
He said no case exhibits were submitted to the police when he lodged the report as he was not informed about the presence of such exhibits from the arrests.