KUALA LANGAT: Two lawyer brothers are the prime suspects in the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others whose bodies were burnt and their ashes strewn in a river near Ladang Gadong, in Tanjong Sepat, here.
Cops are probing if the brothers are also responsible for four more people reported missing.
Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said police were awaiting forensic confirmation on the remains, believed to be that of Sosilawati, the client of the main suspect – a Datuk – said to have been handling a land deal in Penang for the entrepreneur. He owned the farm where the bodies were allegedly burnt after they had been assaulted and stabbed to death.
From initial investigations, police found that the ashes were disposed of at the mouth of a river about 4.2km from the farm. Comm Bakri said the motive of the murder could be business rivalry, debt and a land business deal gone sour. It is learnt that the land in Penang was bought for RM25mil and was to have been re-sold for RM200mil.
Sosilawati was last seen leaving Kuala Lumpur for Banting on Aug 30, with her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Karim, 32, and bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38. Their mysterious disappearance attracted much interest.
“Police believe the 41-year-old lawyer was the mastermind behind the disappearances and could have been involved in four other missing persons cases,” Comm Bakri told reporters at the Banting police headquarters yesterday.
The brothers were among eight people arrested in connection with the case. The other six, including two women, aged between 19 and 45, were farmhands.
Police managed to get fresh leads into the case that saw the arrest of the eight, following the co-operation from the public, media and suspects detained earlier.
“All the information we obtained from the suspects detained earlier gave our men more clues that pointed to the description of the four missing persons,” he said.
“We still need a DNA test to confirm the identity of the victims but there is only a slim chance that they are alive,” Comm Bakri said, adding that he did not rule out the possibility of more arrests.
“We will investigate the brothers in relation to their accumulation of properties, high-end cars and their business dealings that involve millions of ringgit,” he added.
Police are also investigating the whereabouts of the RM4mil which Sosilawati was said to have been carrying.
Comm Bakri said one of the four previous missing persons cases involved an Indian national who had opened a restaurant with the brothers as partners.
He said police would investigate these other cases as well.
Yesterday, more than 60 policemen were at the farm and divers from Marine Police combed Sungai Panchau in Kampung Kanchong Laut in search of evidence.
Forensic teams combed the 1.6ha of farm where some of Sosilawati’s personal belongings were found, including her watch.
Police also blocked access to the Gadong Farm in Jalan Gadong, Tanjong Sepat, 1km from the main road from last night and barred more than 30 members of the press corps from getting any nearer to the site.
Comm Bakri said the police were investigating the farm land which the lawyer bought about 30 months ago to ascertain if the deal was made “properly”.
He added that the police also wanted to know where the former owner was. The previous owner is said to be missing.