‘Datuk’, Seven Others Arrested

BANTING, Sept 12 — A “Datuk”, his brother and six plantation workers have been arrested in connection with the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others who went missing with her on August 30.

CID Director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin today said police were still trying to obtain forensic confirmation to identify the dead, revealing that the four were set ablaze and their ashes scattered at a river near Ladang Gadong in Tanjung Sepat near here.

The suspects, aged between 19 and 41, were now detained at the Bukit Jalil police station in Kuala Lumpur, Bakri revealed. It was learnt that police have obtained seven-day remand orders to facilitate investigations into the case.

He said this at a press conference held at the Banting police district headquarters here, hours after newly-installed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said “more than four people” have been arrested in connecting with the case.

Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB Kampung Baru officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were reported missing since August 30 after going to Banting, Selangor, for a land purchase matter.

Police are also investigating several other kidnap-murder cases based on the statements given by the suspects arrested so far.

Bakri told reporters that the first four suspects who were nabbed on Friday had revealed that they were involved in similar cases within the past year.

“We’re now investigating, based on the first four suspects’ statements that there might be other cases,” he said, but was quick to add that the lead was purely based on their testimonies and not any solid evidence.

“They (the suspects) admitted to using the same modus operandi and we are now investigating the disappearance of four persons [missing] since a year ago,” he said.

The police believe Sosilawati and her companions may have been killed and their bodies burned following the discovery of charred remains at a poultry farm in Tanjung Layang, Morib yesterday night.

The police learned that their ashes may have been scattered along a river near the farm.

“We believe that they were murdered and torched and then the ashes were thrown into a river,” he said.

“There is a very slim chance that they were burnt alive but I cannot confirm without evidence,” Bakri added.

Bakri refused to confirm speculation that charred remains found in a Morib poultry farm last night belonged to the missing people, stressing that the forensic team is still collecting evidence on the crime scene.

The motives for the killings were still being considered, with the police saying that they may have been caused by a possible business rivalry or a deal gone awry.

Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB Kampung Baru officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were reported missing since August 30 after going to Banting, Selangor, for a land purchase matter.

Sosilawati had told one of her daughters that she was going on a business trip to Banting for three days and was said to be carrying a large amount of cash.

It is learnt that Sosilawati’s relatives have arrived in Banting to provide DNA samples to the forensic team which is based in a Banting restaurant four kilometres from the farm.

Last Monday, police found her BMW at Angsana Apartment in USJ 1, Subang Jaya and the BMW of Ahmad Kamil in front of a hotel in Subang Jaya but the missing millionaire has not been seen since she was spotted buying Raya cookies at a shop in Kampung Sungai Lan, Banting on September 2.

Earlier, police cordoned off a site at the poultry farm that was said to belong to one of the suspects, where excavation work was expected to be carried out today.

It is believed that police recovered several items belonging to the four missing people at the same farm.

Bakri said several suspects including a lawyer with a “Datuk” title and two brothers, who are owners of the farm have been held in connection with Sosilawati’s disappearance.

He said it was information from the public and the press that had led to the swift arrests.

“One of the information we received was that one of them was wearing a watch similar to one of the missing persons,” he said.

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