Thailand human trafficking and mass graves
Policemen take notes behind human remains retrieved from a mass grave at a rubber plantation near a mountain in Thailand's southern Songkhla provinceSurapan Boonthamon/Reuters file photo

Malaysian authorities have found two dozen bodies in mass graves near the Thai border. The remains are suspected to belong to victims of human trafficking in the region.

The corpses were found in the heavily-forested border region in the northern Malaysian state of Perlis. The remains are being examined by medical experts to identify the victims.

"Following on from the operation in which we found ... bodies of illegal immigrants, 24 more bodies have been found and dug up," the Malaysian police said in a statement.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar has confirmed the latest findings are "part of the original graves discovered earlier". A team comprising 15 police officers and over 100 security personnel has exhumed the bodies, and sent them for examination.

Officials suspect the victims were Rohingya Muslims who fled persecution in Myanmar or from Bangladesh. The Thai-Malaysia border is often a vital transit point for human smugglers in the Southeast Asia region.

The earlier bodies, which were found in the same place near the latest discovery spot, were found to have been tortured or starved. It is still unclear whether the recent bodies bear any signs of torture.