He is a fre­quent visi­tor to Thai­land, say sources

New Straits Times - - News / Story of the day - SHARIFAH MAHSINAH AB­DUL­LAH RANTAU PANJANG

ALOCAL man linked to the Is­lamic State and sus­pected of hav­ing es­caped to Thai­land re­cently is be­lieved to be among the hun­dreds of smug­glers op­er­at­ing along the Kelantan-Thai bor­der.

“The man, who is wanted by po­lice, is be­lieved to be part of a group of smug­glers sell­ing firearms to IS mil­i­tants in the coun­try.

“His work takes him to south­ern Thai­land and Kelantan reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially to Sun­gai Golok,” said sources.

They said the man, iden­ti­fied as Muham­mad Muzaffa Ari­eff Ju­naidi from Kam­pung Ger­tak here had been trav­el­ling to the bor­der town to get the sup­ply of firearms ei­ther through check­points or il­le­gal jet­ties dot­ting the bor­der ar­eas.

“He will cross over there reg­u­larly, ei­ther alone or ac­com­pa­nied by other smug­glers, to get firearms from their Thai sup­pli­ers.

“Some­times, he will make the deal (of sell­ing firearms) there in the bor­der town and some­times, he will cross over back to Rantau Panjang with the firearms,” said sources.

They also re­vealed that the sus­pect was be­lieved to have fled to Thai­land on March 22 fol­low­ing a crack­down by Malaysian po­lice and was said to be hid­ing some­where in the sub­province.

Thai se­cu­rity sources, mean­while, con­firmed that the 27year-old sus­pect en­tered the coun­try reg­u­larly.

“Our au­thor­i­ties had checked with the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment in Sun­gai Golok re­cently and records showed that the last date Muham­mad Muzaffa Ari­eff Ju­naidi had en­tered Thai­land was on Feb 10 and he left on Feb 15.

“Records also showed that the same per­son left Thai­land on April 21, a few days be­fore Malaysian po­lice con­ducted the crack­down on sus­pects with links to IS, but there is no record of him en­ter­ing Thai­land,” said the se­cu­rity sources.

They also re­vealed that the sus­pect had un­der­went reg­u­lar checks like other tourists dur­ing his lat­est de­par­ture from Thai­land at the Im­mi­gra­tion com­plex at Sun­gai Golok on April 21.

It was re­ported last week that six in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing two women, were ar­rested in five states ear­lier this year over sus­pected ties to the IS.

The fed­eral po­lice Spe­cial Branch’s coun­tert­er­ror­ism divi­sion said the six were picked up be­tween March 24 and April 25 in Kelantan, Se­lan­gor, Me­laka, Jo­hor and Penang.

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said two men, aged 24 and 41, were nabbed in Kelantan on March 24 and 25, and were in­volved in the smug­gling of weapons from south­ern Thai­land for the use of IS mil­i­tants in Malaysia.

Muzaffa Ari­eff is said to have links with the duo.

Muham­mad Muzaffa Ari­eff Ju­naidi

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