Illegal Immigrants

Malaysian police find a corpse as forensics teams dig up graves at abandoned traffickers' camp

  • A human jaw is photographed near an unmarked grave in Wang Burma at the Malaysia-Thailand border outside Wang Kelian, Malaysia on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Malaysian forensic teams exhumed a body from a shallow grave at an abandoned camp on Tuesday that was used by human traffickers, the first of what police predicted would be more grim findings as they combed through a cluster of jungle camps on the border with Thailand. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

    A human jaw is photographed near an unmarked grave in Wang Burma at the Malaysia-Thailand border outside Wang Kelian, Malaysia on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Malaysian forensic teams exhumed a body from a shallow grave at an abandoned camp on Tuesday that was used by human traffickers, the first of what police predicted would be more grim findings as they combed through a cluster of jungle camps on the border with Thailand. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)  (The Associated Press)

  • Malaysian police forensic team members inspect a freshly exhumed human body from an unmarked grave in Wang Burma at the Malaysia-Thailand border outside Wang Kelian, Malaysia, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Malaysian forensic teams exhumed the body at an abandoned camp that was used by human traffickers, the first of what police predicted would be more grim findings as they combed through a cluster of jungle camps on the border with Thailand. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

    Malaysian police forensic team members inspect a freshly exhumed human body from an unmarked grave in Wang Burma at the Malaysia-Thailand border outside Wang Kelian, Malaysia, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Malaysian forensic teams exhumed the body at an abandoned camp that was used by human traffickers, the first of what police predicted would be more grim findings as they combed through a cluster of jungle camps on the border with Thailand. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Malaysian police forensic team excavates an unmarked grave in Wang Burma at the Malaysia-Thailand border outside Wang Kelian, Malaysia on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Malaysian forensic teams exhumed a body from a shallow grave at an abandoned camp on Tuesday that was used by human traffickers, the first of what police predicted would be more grim findings as they combed through a cluster of jungle camps on the border with Thailand. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

    A Malaysian police forensic team excavates an unmarked grave in Wang Burma at the Malaysia-Thailand border outside Wang Kelian, Malaysia on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Malaysian forensic teams exhumed a body from a shallow grave at an abandoned camp on Tuesday that was used by human traffickers, the first of what police predicted would be more grim findings as they combed through a cluster of jungle camps on the border with Thailand. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)  (The Associated Press)

Malaysian authorities have found one corpse as they started digging for bodies at an abandoned jungle camp used by human traffickers on the border with Thailand.

The discovery came as forensics teams began the grim task of exhuming nearly 140 suspected graves in the mountainous area where trafficking syndicates were known to hold migrants for ransom.

Most were believed to be Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority fleeing persecution in Myanmar, and Bangladeshis.

Police official Mohammad Bahar Alias told reporters at the site that the exhumed corpse would be sent to a hospital in northern Perlis state for a post mortem.

The camp also contained what police called "human cages" made of wood and barbed wire that were likely used to hold migrants.