Police have not recovered the money that cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya had taken with her to Banting for the meeting with the lawyer brothers who allegedly masterminded the quadruple murders.
CID director Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin told The Malay Mail this morning that investigations were still underway to determine if the suspects had taken any money from her.
Sosilawati’s daughter, Erni Dekritawati Yuliana Buhari, had claimed that her mother carried a huge amount of cash for the Banting meeting.
According to reports, Sosilawati had about RM4 million in cash on her when she made the trip with her lawyer, financial adviser and chauffeur on Aug 30.
Various theories abound over what transpired before the four were killed. One version has it that Sosilawati wanted her money back after she learned about alleged fraud involving the land in Penang she had planned to buy.
Another speculates that the lawyers, one of whom is a Datuk, got angry with her when she did not bring along the agreed amount.
Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB Kampung Baru officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, who also her financial adviser, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were then held against their will.
Later, in the poultry farm, owned by 41-year-old Datuk, they were beaten to death, set ablaze and had their ashes including small bone fragments scattered in a river near Ladang Gadong in Tanjong Sepat near Banting.
Bakri said today that Marine police divers combed Sungai Panchau in Kampung Kanchong Laut and scooped several bone fragments.
Bakri said so far, only Sosilawati’s watch, several pairs of shoes and other items, which he declined to elaborate, were recovered at the poultry farm where the gruesome killings occurred.
He confirmed reports that one of the four missing persons, whose cases emerged in the wake of the murders, was an Indian national who went missing a year ago. He is believed to be a multi-millionaire businessman from Chennai, India.
The four had disappeared after separate business dealings with the lawyer brothers turned sour. Statements given by some of the eight suspects to police that the brothers were involved in several other kidnap-murder cases brought the four cases to light.
The family of Indian national had come looking for him here when they suddenly lost contact with him. The family had lodged a missing person’s report.
Bakri said there was no need to contact police in India about the case because it happened here and fresh investigations would be initiated.
Meanwhile, The Malay Mail’s observations at the scene this morning showed police still maintained a tight perimeter around the area.
Plantation workers entering the estate were subjected to strict checks; they had to produce their MyKad and had the details recorded before being allowed to enter.
Aug 30 –Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, her personal lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, and CIMB Kampung Baru branch bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, were believed to have gone to Banting to negotiate a land deal.
Sept 5 – Missing-persons reports lodged by family members of the four. No ransom demands had been received.
Sept 6 – Following a public tip-off, police discover Sosilawati’s BMW M5 at a car park in Pangsapuri Angsana, USJ 1. Ahmad Kamil’s BMW 525i was also discovered on the same day in front of Grand Dorsett Hotel, Subang Jaya. Both cars were properly parked and had no visible damages.
Sept 11 – Bukit Aman forensic team blocked access to the Ladang Gadong farm in Tanjung Sepat. Media members camp outside the cordoned area all night, following rumours police had discovered burnt bodies of the missing four at the site.
Sept 12 – Police confirmed the arrest of eight suspects – including a ‘Datuk’ lawyer and his brother, also a lawyer. Police said the suspects admit to bludgeoning the victims to death, burned their bodies and scattered the ashes at a river.
Noorhisham’s family wish for happy returns
AMPANG: CIMB bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad would have celebrated his 38th birthday with his wife and three kids yesterday.
However, he did not make it home, leaving his family, relatives and close friends praying for his safe return. The mood in his house in Taman Seraya, Ampang was sombre with family and friends having a doa selamat after Isya’ prayer last night.
Noorhisham’s younger brother, who only wanted to be known as Zul, said: “We are still hoping for his safe return. After all, the DNA test has yet to be confirmed.”
He said Hari Raya was a sad one for family members who were distressed since Noorhisham went missing on Aug 30.
Noorhisham had told his wife, Suzana Radim Pangat, also an employee of CIMB, not to worry about him and that he would explain to her why he followed Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya to Banting.
Poser over other victims
KUALA LUMPUR: Fears are growing for four people who disappeared after alleged separate business dealings with the two lawyer brothers in the centre of the probe into the grisly killings of cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, her financial adviser, lawyer and chauffeur.
The anxiety stems from statements given by some of the eight suspects to police that the brothers, aged 41 and 38, were involved in several other kill-and-burn kidnap-murder cases.
Police investigating the quadruple killings near Banting have learned the four missing persons were, just like Sosilawati, involved in land deals with the lawyers, one of whom is a Datuk.
The identities of the four people, who were reported missing over the past year, were not immediately known.
The Malay Mail understands the missing persons’ inquiries have since been upgraded and the serious crimes division, which probes murders, has taken over the investigation.
Police will investigate the four missing persons’ business activities and associates and further interview family members to unravel this mystery.
Federal CID director Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said yesterday the suspects had admitted they were also involved in similar incidents in the past where the victims were killed and their bodies burnt.
Bakri however said there was no solid evidence to back the claim and that police were trying to establish forensic support.
Sosilawati, 47, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsudin, 44, CIMB Kampung Baru officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, who was also her financial adviser, and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim, 32, were reported missing since Aug 30 after going to Banting for a land purchase matter.
The ex-wife of rocker Nash had told one of her daughters that she was going to Banting for three days and was said to be carrying a large amount of cash.
It was reported she was last seen buying Raya cookies at a shop in Kampung Sungai Lan, Banting on Sept 2.
Police yesterday revealed that the victims were bludgeoned to death, set ablaze and had their ashes including small bone fragments scattered in a river near Ladang Gadong in Tanjong Sepat near Banting.
Charred remains were found beside a pond towards the end of a poultry farm owned by the Datuk in the vicinity of an oil palm plantation on Saturday night. It is believed the four were held captive at the farm before being beaten up and killed.
The motive for the grisly killings pointed towards business fall-out between the two lawyers and Sosilawati – the founder of Nouvelle Visages (NV) cosmetic line.
The lawyers were apparently acting as brokers for Sosilawati in the purchase of land in Penang worth millions.
Police declined comment on a report that the land in Penang was bought for RM25 million and was to have been resold at RM200m.
Six people, including two women and farmhands, have been arrested together with the Datuk and his brother in connection with the killings.
Police have obtained a seven-day remand order to facilitate investigations into the case on all the suspects, aged between 19 and 54.
The suspects, thought to include foreigners, were now being detained at the Bukit Jalil police station here.
Kuala Lumpur police are handling the investigation because the victims were last seen leaving Sosilawati’s office in Kuala Lumpur.
The slaughter of the four is one of the most gruesome murders to stun the nation and is probably the worst single incident.
Thorough probe by authorities
· The authorities are recommending the Datukship, conferred last year on the lawyer who allegedly masterminded the killings, be revoked. He was bestowed the title last year.
· The authorities would also investigate whether the lawyer provided false information to obtain the title and who recommended him in spite of his suspension from practice last year.
· Police were expected to examine files and other documents in the lawyer brothers law firm in Banting for clues.
· All businesses set up by the lawyer brothers would be scrutinised to determine if they had been used as a front for dubious activities.
· Police are to interview family members, relatives and friends under whose names the brothers registered their luxury vehicles under.
· Financial institutions would be asked to extend speedy cooperation in the declaration of any transaction undertaken by the brothers.
· Banks would also be probed to determine if they had wired money out of the country.
Mona Fandey dejavu
· The infamous Mona Fandey case, in which politician Datuk Mazlan Idris was skinned and butchered into 18 parts, came to the fore yesterday as the nation reeled from the shock of the quadruple Banting murders. Many drew parallel to both cases in view of the horrific nature of the murders.
· The bodies of cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, 47, her two associates and driver were burnt close to a Hindu crematorium to alleviate suspicion. The killers apparently thought the “cremations” close to the vicinity of a Hindu temple would not attract attention.
Prayers for murder victim
GOMBAK: A special prayer was conducted at the home of murdered cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya yesterday.
The prayers about 7.30pm were conducted by Imam Ramli Abd Karim and attended by most of Sosilawati’s family members and close friends. The prayers were held following requests from the family.
“Some had come from Johor. The prayers lasted almost two hours,” Ramli said. He had known Sosilawati for almost seven years and was shocked with her death.
“A few days before the fasting month, I met her here (in the house) to collect donation for a surau nearby.”
It was learnt Sosilawati donated to the surau every month.
“I would go personally to her house to collect the donation. She treats us like important guests and would even invite us to stay for lunch.
“I was told of her death two days after she went missing. We organised the doa selamat and now to perform this prayer…this is sad.”
Sosilawati’s home is in Taman Rohani, Gombak. There was a constant flow of visitors to her house, mostly neighbours.
Sosilawati’s eldest daughter Erni Dekritawati Yuliana Buhari, 25, was reported to be still hopeful the forensic reports would prove the remains found on the farm in Banting was not her mother’s and that she was still alive.-MalayMail