May 15, 2019 : Former Thai Custom official says Human trafficking intel is vague

May 15, 2019 | Brainwave Science

SITUATION

Former Perlis Customs Department director Datuk Mohd Pudzi Man revealed that the agency could not act on human trafficking camps in Wang Kelian because they only received “vague information” on the matter.

Pudzi, the 29th witness in the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) probing the Wang Kelian human trafficking incident, told the panel that the department’s intelligence team, together with the Anti-Smuggling Unit, had difficulty in obtaining actionable intelligence.

This, he said, was despite him urging his officers to collect as much information as possible. “We only received vague information on Wang Kelian, that there was a possibility of vehicles transporting them (illegal immigrants). The information we received was too ambiguous to conduct an operation. We were afraid that if we conducted a raid, there wouldn’t be a case,” he said on the 10th day of the RCI. Pudzi added that they had “issues” obtaining intelligence on migrants, and said it was easier to obtain information on the smuggling of contraband such as drugs and firecrackers. “We found it difficult to acquire intelligence on migrants, unlike tracking down the smuggling of taxable or prohibited goods. Even if we did receive information (on migrants), it was very little and very vague.

“When I was in Perlis, I only received information about illegal immigrants on a small scale, no concrete information on the trafficking of migrants.” Now retired, Pudzi was a Customs deputy director in Putrajaya after his stint in Perlis. He was the head of the department in Perlis from 2011 until 2016. Pudzi said he only learned about the Wang Kelian camp when it was reported in the media. “It was shocking. We did not expect the situation to be that big because before that there were only a few cases (of illegal immigrants).”

Another witness, former Immigration Department director Mohd Amir Othman, said local enforcement agencies had difficulty tracking down human trafficking syndicates due to the refusal of victims to cooperate. The 30th witness of the RCI said the illegal immigrants conspired with their agents and syndicates to protect their identities and not reveal information.

“Throughout my experience working in the department, we found it hard to receive cooperation from victims when we wanted to conduct our probes.

“This is why it is hard for us to apprehend the ‘tekongs’ (those involved in syndicates) because the illegal immigrants conspire with them,” he said, adding that they would be taught by syndicates on how to answer the authorities if they were arrested. Amir also noted that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card was an “attraction” for illegal immigrants to enter the country.

These illegal immigrants, he said, wanted the UNHCR card so that they could move about freely, holding refugee status. “With the card, they are free to move about. According to the law, UNHCR card holders are not allowed to work, but if they do, they cannot be arrested,” he said.

The RCI seven-member panel comprises former chief justice Tun Arifin Zakaria as chairman; former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Norian Mai (deputy chairman); former chief prosecutor Datuk Noorbahri Baharuddin; former Suhakam chief commissioner Tan Sri Razali Ismail; former head of research at the Attorney-General’s Chambers Datuk Junaidah Abdul Rahman; former Malaysian ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussin; and, former Public Accounts Committee deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw.

The conducting officers are Khairul Anuar Abd Halim and Saiful Hazmi Mohd Saad.

CHALLENGE

Investigative agencies dealing with human trafficking across the world face the same problem as Perlis Custom Department. It says that the information that they receive on human trafficking in vague. This department in Malaysia is dealing with a big crisis of human trafficking. They have discovered 28 suspected human trafficking camps merely 500 meters from the country’s border with Thailand. Mass graves have also been discovered.

The police are reportedly only aware of the tip of the iceberg. Such huge revelations are evidence that an illicit operation at a much higher scale exists along the Malay-Thai border. The information they receive is ‘vague’ and hence unactionable. It is more difficult to obtain information about human trafficking than on contraband smuggling.

The immigrants are scared of the authorities because of their inability to provide asylum and justice that they actively conspire with them to hide their status. This is a major contributor to the lack of information available to the investigative agencies.

Such difficulties bring the hopes of the investigating officers, the victims, and the community down. Even if a suspect is arrested, how much information can conventional interrogation and investigation gather from one person? Although that person is aware of an immense amount of information regarding the trafficking, has contacts on both sides of the border, our methods fail us.

Can modern science give us a method to extract the most amount of information from the least number of suspects?

WHY ICOGNATIVE?

Brainwave Science has developed and introduced such technology. The name of this pioneering and cost-effective technology is iCognative. Brainwave Science is a Massachusetts based company which has introduced a modern technology which has completely revamped investigation and intelligence gathering. It is non-invasive and does not need the test subject to be tortured or to be made to suffer. Yet, it does not compromise in any way on the amount of intelligence it can gather. iCognative is widely applicable to all sorts of areas such as financial fraud, kidnapping, hijacking, national-security, border-security, immigration, and counter-terrorism.

iCognative is backed up by a proven science which quickly detects concealed information by measuring brain waves. The criminal plans and executes the crime, and thus his or her brain is aware of the minutest details. They are embedded in his or her memory. iCognative exposes an individual’s brain to pictures, words or phrases related to the specific crime under investigation. The brain’s response to such stimuli is immediate and involuntary. The brain responds differently depending on whether the brain possesses prior awareness of the information conveyed by the stimuli or not. the iCognative system uses a specialized headset which measures the brain responses and analyses these in the computer system. The result of whether incriminating information is present in the brain of the test subject or not is reported immediately. iCognative test helps the investigators to quickly move from screening one test subject to the other, and to narrow down to the most likely subject.

In this case, iCognative test should be administered to all suspects when they are arrested. The stimuli in this test can comprise details gathered about the crime such as call records, names and pictures of the persons trafficked, email and other correspondence details with their counterparts. The suspects can be shown stimuli such as details of known victims, mass graves, known shelters along the border, trafficking routes, CCTV images of victims at international and domestic checkpoints.

iCognative can accurately and reliably indicate if a test subject possesses knowledge of a specific crime. At the same time, it can be used to de-construct and get an idea about the structure of a criminal organization, find the position of the test subject in the hierarchy of his or her criminal organization. iCognative, by Brainwave Science, is highly customizable, 99.9% accurate, non-invasive, and easy to learn.

Investigating agencies in Malaysia must try out the cutting-edge technology called iCognative, by Brainwave Science which can make use of a handful of suspects to gather more useful information than which conventional methods can with a huge number of suspects. It can help save more victims from ending up in mass graves and being misled into slavery in foreign countries.

Main source: NST

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