Cops: Drug debts, not triad wars, behind JB murder
JOHOR BARU, Dec 22 — Police investigations revealed today that the murder involving the 44-year-old drug dealer and loan shark, who was brutally murdered here on Sunday, was not due to a triad war.
Bukit Aman Criminal Investigations Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said the murder was an isolated incident involving narcotics and debts.
“Our (police) investigations revealed that the murder was sparked from a drug debt and not underworld gang rivalry as initially thought. The deceased was also not an underworld gang leader.
“The motive for the murder was established based on questioning of a couple who were earlier arrested in Penang, which was the first arrest by police in connection with the case,” he said at the Johor police contingent headquarters here.
Also present during the press conference were Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd, Johor CID chief Azman Ayob, and other senior officers.
On Tuesday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted saying by The Star that a fight between two triads may have caused the brutal killing.
Wan Ahmad also revealed that police have arrested a male suspect, who is in his 20s, in Johor Baru yesterday to assist in the murder probe.
He said this brings the total number of suspects arrested to 14, consisting of 10 men and four women aged between 16 and 26.
At present, police have taken eight statements from the arrested suspects and eyewitnesses, including the deceased victim Tan Aik Chai’s 32-year-old Vietnamese wife.
Police have also applied for a seven-day remand for the seven suspects who were handed over to Johor police last night.
“I have also directed three teams from the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman to assist the Johor police task force formed to investigate the murder,” said Wan Ahmad, adding that police have yet to recover the BMW car used by the suspect.
Wan Ahmad said the police also expressed appreciation to the Singapore Police Force CID officers for their assistance in apprehending the seven suspects who had fled to the island republic.
“Overall, police are confident of solving the case soon and are wrapping-up investigations,” he said.
In a video of the Sunday murder that was recorded by a bystander, Tan was shown being assaulted next to a white BMW 5-Series by several people who then proceeded to run him over twice.