Malaysian Soldiers Charged with Human Trafficking
28 January 2011 – KUALA LUMPUR : Two Malaysian soldiers were charged in the local Sessions Court at Perlis, northern part of the country for trafficking in 16 Burmese citizens including four women, aged between 15 and 48.
The soldiers, Mohd Rashidi Abd Halim, 36, and Mohd Johari Abu, 28, who are attached to a military camp in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah, near the Malaysia-Thailand border, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Both are alleged to have committed the offence at around 10.40pm at a sugar cane farm in Chuping, Perlis, in December last year.
If convicted, they are liable to be jailed not more than 15 years or fined or both.
Judge Wan Norzanuar Wan Ahmad set bail at RM 6,000 each in one surety each and 22 February 2011 for the trial.
Malaysia is home to an estimated 85,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Burma (now Myanmar), which constitutes 92 percent of Malaysia’s refugee population, according to reports.
By Thomas Chong