A member of the General Operations Force controls the checkpoint on the road near the area where the abandoned human trafficking camp was discovered in the jungle close to the Thailand border at Bukit Wang Burma in northern Malaysia May 28, 2015. Twelve Malaysian police officials have been held on suspicion of links to people-smuggling camps where authorities have uncovered nearly 140 graves believed to hold the bodies of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh, a government minister said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
IPOH, Feb 26 — Perak police rescued 18 locals, including five children, believed to be victims of a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu near Gerik, about 170km from here early today.
The victims comprising five men and six women aged between 27 and 64; two boys aged 13 and 17; and five children aged betweeb two and seven.
A police team rescued the victims in a raid at an oil palm plantation in Kampung Tasek, Belukar Semang at the Kroh sub-district at 12.10am.
State CID chief Datuk Gan Tian Kee said a married couple believed to have masterminded the syndicate was detained to facilitate investigations.
The suspects are aged 43 and 24.
In a statement today, Gan said one of the victims claimed the woman suspect had threatened to beat him up if he did not work in the plantation sector or enquired about his wages.
He said initial investigations revealed that the woman had also forced the five children to work at the plantation without wages.
He said the police seized, among others, a Mitsubishi Fuso lorry, Nissan Navara vehicle, several identity cards, birth certificates and 11 envelopes containing copies of Etiqa Insurance policies.