BANTING: Police arrested a “Datuk” lawyer, his younger brother, also a lawyer, and six workers of an oil palm plantation here where cosmetic millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others were murdered.
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department Director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said the suspects admitted that they took the victims to the four-hectare plantation, bludgeoned them to death and burned their bodies.
They later scattered the ashes at a river near the Ladang Gadong, Tanjong Sepat, here, Mohd Bakri told a news conference at the Kuala Langat district police headquarters.
Mohd Bakri said police picked up five of the suspects on Friday.
On Saturday, police arrested the Datuk and his brother while the eighth suspect was arrested Sunday.
Apart from Sosilawati, the others murdered were her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB Kampung Baru bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, and her personal lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32.
They were reported missing since Aug 30 after going here purportedly for a deal related to a land purchase.
Mohd Bakri, however, could not confirm the date the murder took place but said that it could be anytime between the day they were reported missing and Saturday.
On the motive of the incident, Mohd Bakri said it pointed towards business rivalry between the two lawyers and Sosilawati.
Mohd Bakri said police were investigating the case under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence, and that Kuala Lumpur police would handle the investigation because the victims were last seen leaving Sosilawati’s office in Kuala Lumpur.
He said the families of the victims had been informed and that that police would still need further confirmation from the forensic division and Chemistry Department.
“These reports take time to prepare. The families of the victims and the media will be notified as soon as these reports come in,” he said.
Mohd Bakri called for patience as the forensic team was still in their early stage of collecting evidence.
They had also found a knife at the scene, he said, adding however that he could not confirm whether there were bones recovered.
Mohd Bakri also revealed that the suspects had admitted that they were also involved in similar incidents in the past.
“They admitted to using the same modus operandi and we are now investigating the disappearance of four persons since a year ago,” he said, adding that police were trying to establish forensic proof of the case.
All suspects, aged 19 and 41, two of them women, were now detained at the Bukit Jalil police station, Kuala Lumpur, he said.
It was learnt that police had obtained a seven-day remand order to facilitate investigations into the case.
Asked to described the scene where the alleged murder took place, Mohd Bakri said it was surrounded by walls and planted with oil palm trees.
There were also goat and cattle barns, he said.
“No one can see what is happening behind those walls,” he said, adding that police were also investigating the Datuk for money laundering.
“We received information that he had obtained properties illegally; we are pursuing this,” he said. – Bernama