Malaysian police step up security at border with Thailand after over 100 smuggling trails identified

Rohingya refugees wait in line for relief supplies in the refugee camp of Leda near Teknaf on Sept 19, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BACHOK - Police in Malaysia's Kelantan state have identified more than 100 smuggling trails at the Malaysia-Thailand border and have stepped up security control in the area to prevent illegal entry of ethnic Rohingya fleeing the crisis in Myanmar, Bernama reported.

State police chief Datuk Hasanuddin Hassan said the move taken was also to prevent any untoward incidents.

"We have identified 130 to 150 'rat trails' that were created by people for smuggling activities at the border area from Jeli to Tumpat. We will be monitoring and stepping up security control in this area," he said on Monday (Sept 18).

More than 400,000 Rohingya refugees have fled across Myanmar's border to Bangladesh following violence set off by the Aug 25 attacks by Rohingya insurgents on police posts and an army base that triggered a military response.

A high-profile crackdown in 2015 by Thai police on human trafficking syndicates disrupted long-established smuggling routes funnelling migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh to Malaysia via Thailand.

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