Villagers helping to bury some of the bodies of the human trafficking victims in Wang Kelian, Perlis in June this year. FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: The next-of-kin of those who died in the 2015 Wang Kelian case may be able to find out for sure if their loved ones are among the estimated 150 victims of the human trafficking tragedy.

The New Straits Times Special Probes Team has established that there is a DNA-matching system that can provide at least some form of closure.

The team has learnt that the authorities involved in the processing of the remains found in the quiet hills of Wang Kelian had set up a DNA databank.

A matching DNA will link the next-of-kin of the victims to a serial number, marked on one of
the nondescript white tombstones at the cemetery in Kampung Tualang in Jabi, Pokok Sena, Kedah, where the remains were buried.

To facilitate the process, the next-of-kin can make a request with the police.

The DNA testing will be carried out by the Chemistry Department.

It is learnt that forensic experts involved in the Wang Kelian case had carried out DNA profiling on every single one of the remains found, before they were buried.

The European Rohingya Council ambassador to Malaysia Tengku Emma Zuriana Tengku Azmi said
the Rohingya who had long wondered if their next-of-kin could be among those whose lives ended tragically in the hills of Wang Kelian, were not aware that there was
a chance for them to claim the remains of their loved ones or at least mark their graves.

“They were not aware that the authorities had carried out DNA profiling of the victims.

“We will go on a roadshow to screen them and ascertain their stories to see if they have blood relations with the victims,” she told the New Straits Times.

The four-page expose, which unearthed untold secrets which had been buried for more than two years, exposed among other damning findings, the fact that Perlis police discovered the human trafficking camps and mass graves on Jan 19, 2015, and not May 24, as was announced during a press conference by police on May 25.

This announcement was made soon after the Thais found
similar graves and squalid human trafficking camps on their side of the border on May 1, 2015.

This newspaper had also questioned why police had sent out hundreds of men, including commandos, up the hill on May 11, to “search” for similar camps on this side of the border, when there were already photographic evidence and reports from the Jan 19 and March 13, 2015, discoveries of these camps and mass graves, filed by their own men.

The NST exposé also highlighted the glaring discrepancies in reports filed by those involved in the discovery, including those regarding syndicate members that were picked up during those operations.

The team presented its findings to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who ordered that investigations into the case be revisited and vowed that “those with direct or indirect involvement in the case would be made to pay for the crime”.

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