Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sosilawati Lawiya - sad end of Malaysia's celebrity cosmetic millionaire

Updated Wednesday 13th October, 2010 (source The Star Online)

Banting murders: Lawyer, three others charged

BANTING, Selangor, Malaysia, 13th October, 2010 :

Lawyer N. Pathmanabhan, 41, and three others were jointly charged Wednesday with the murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

They were charged before Magistrate Hurman Hussain. The charge against Pathmanabhan was read in Bahasa Malaysia while the charge against the rest was read in Tamil.

They were charged with the murder of Sosilawati, 47, CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad, 38, personal lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abd Karim, 32 and driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44.

Accused N. Pathmanabhan being escorted to the Telok Datok Magistrate Court to be charged for the murder of Datuk Sosilawati.

Others who were charged with Pathmanabhan were T. Thilaiyalagan, 19, R. Matan, 20, and R. Kathavarayan, 30.

The offence was allegedly committed at Lot 2001, Jalan Tanjung Layang, Tanjung Sepat, Banting between 8.30pm and 9.45pm on Aug 30.

It was reported that the four had gone missing on Aug 30 after telling their families and friends that they were going to Banting to discuss a land deal.

More than a week later, police said they were murdered and burnt, and their ashes thrown into a river near a farm owned by Pathmanabhan.

The accused are also being probed for the murders and disappearance of several others, including Indian millionaire A. Muthuraja, 34, local businessmen Mohd Shafiq Abdullah, 37 and 44-year-old housewife T. Selvi.

No plea was recorded and the court fixed Dec 16 for mention of the case.

(Left to right) Accused T. Thilayalgan( in black), R. Matan (Blue and green) and R. Kathavarayan (white) being escorted to the Telok Datok Magistrate Court to be charge for the murder of Datuk Sosilawati.

The accused were represented by Amer Hamzah Arshad and Ravi Nekoo while prosecution was by Deputy Public Prosecutors Ishak Mohd Yusoff (lead), Saiful Edris Zainudin and Idham Abd Ghani.

My previous posts :

The late Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya - May Her Soul Rest in Peace. Our Prayers also goes to her family and the families of the 3 other victims. God Bless...

Local beauty products founder Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, 47 was last seen in public at a buka puasa event in Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam on 28th August 2010. 2 days later on August 30th 2010, Sosilawati, left her house in Gombak for Banting, Selangor to discuss a land deal worth RM1.4million. She had told one of her daughters that she would be in Banting for three days. Datuk Sosilawati together with 3 others became victims of one of the most gruesome murders ever commited by human beings.

Being a celebrity cosmetic millionaire, Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya,47 always appeared on Malaysian TV. Sosilawati was the founder of cosmetics brand Nouvelle Visages

Sosilawati's eldest daughter Erni Dekritawati Yuliana Bukhairi (left) and her sisters waiting for the arrival of VIPs outside their house in Taman Harmonis. 15 September, 2010

Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Wanita Umno members and family members reciting thalil prayers at the home of Sosilawati in Gombak. 15 September, 2010

The infamous farm, Ladang Gadong in Banting, Selangor, Malaysia, the reported location of the gruesome murders of Datuk Sosilawati and 3 others. Note the retaining wall surrounding the farm.

Cops removing computers and files, among other things, from the main suspect's office

Members of the scuba unit combing Sungai Kanchong for murder weapons.

A cricket bat found on the Sungai Panchau riverbed may have been among the weapons used in the brutal murder of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department Director, Commissioner of Police, Datuk Seri Mohd Bakri Zinin said the bat was among numerous objects recovered by police from the river as they searched for evidence into the brutal murders.

"Among other things, a cricket bat was also recovered from the riverbed, and it is believed to be one of the murder weapons," he told reporters during a press conference at the Dang Wangi police headquarters on September 17, 2010.

A suspect with two policemen near the river where the search for murder weapons was going on. 15 September, 2010

The lawyer who is the main suspect in the murder of millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others being escorted by CID officers from Bukit Aman to his legal firm in Banting, Selangor. Police seized four computer CPUs and several files believed to contain information on land deals. 15 September, 2010.

The media reported that the murder of millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others was carried out under the orders of the lawyer, identified as the mastermind.

It is learnt that the lawyer had ordered at least three men, believed to be working for him, to carry out the murders at an abandoned house in an oil palm estate in Sungai Gadung.

It is believed that the lawyer owned the estate.

The killings were said to have taken place after Sosilawati had gone with the others to confront the lawyer regarding the transfer of a land title in a deal believed to be worth RM25mil.

It is understood that the meeting had taken place near the lawyer’s house before the victims were taken to the estate, which is near Ladang Gadong.

There, the four were beaten and repeatedly stabbed before they were burnt.

Police investigations also revealed nine cases involving the lawyer who allegedly masterminded the brutal murders of Datuk Sosilawati and three others.

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar said there were seven commercial crime cases involving the lawyer, totalling RM 7.1 million, since 2005.

"These crimes involved land sale to members of the public, all confined within the district," he said.

Khalid said two other cases related to the suspect were two missing persons reports and the murder of T. Selvi, 46, who was stabbed to death in front of her house in Taman Cempaka, Banting, in April 2009.

In another development, the main suspect in the murder of cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya is not a Datuk after all.

Police enquiries in all states to trace who had conferred a Datukship on the 41-year-old drew a blank, sources said.

The Malaysian daily, the Star reported that it is learnt that the suspect had bought the so-called title from a businessman for RM180,000.

The man had promised him that his name would be included on the list of recipients for Datukship.

Apparently, the businessman told the suspect that he was free to use the title following the inclusion of his name on the list.

Sources revealed that police were also looking for the businessman

15 September 2010 - A police forensics team with a suspect at the chicken farm where the remains of the four murder victims were found.

One of the main suspects in the Sosilawati case being detained.

Down by the river: A marine policeman holding the knife believed to have been used in the murder of Sosilawati in Sungai Kanchong. 15 September, 2010.

A police forensic team that has been scouring the river since Sunday, 12 September 2010, has also turned up two knives, a few watches and some jewellery.

Two special task force have been set up by the police and investigators have been working round the clock at the scene.

Police forencis team gathering evidences at a location at Sungai Panchau, Selangor.

The Sungai Panchau may hold more grisly secrets than imagined. Deep beneath its muddy surface are hundreds of human bone fragments, suggesting that it may have been a watery grave for many murder victims.

It is learnt that police found more than 300 human bone fragments from the riverbed, located about four to five kilometres from the farm where the quadruple murders took place.

According to an expert, who has been handling cremations for 20 years, a human body, once burned, would leave behind about 20 to 25 visible bone fragments.

So far, police investigating the gruesome murders of cosmetics queen Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three of her aides have confirmed there are at least eight missing person reports that are believed to be connected to the main suspects in the millionairess’ case.

The high number of bone fragments found have given rise to speculation that others may have been murdered at the estate even before Sosilawati and her friends.

Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya - Malaysia's celebrity cosmetic millionaire, went missing with 3 others including her personal lawyer, driver and a bank officer on 30th August 2010, a day before Malaysia's 53rd independence day, and 12 days before the celebration of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

Yesterday, 12th of September 2010, 2 weeks after her disappearence, the Malaysian police came out with a shocking statement - Sosilawati and her 3 friends were feared murdered, their bodies burnt and then the ashes being thrown inside a river. It was shocking and a sad end to Sosilawati's life.

This happened in Banting, Selangor, about 100 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur.

8 people had been arrested including a 41 year old lawyer from Banting who police said might have connection with the similar disappearance of another 4 persons, sometimes ago.

"I can say that Sosilawati Lawiya and three others are believed to have been murdered and their bodies burnt with ashes strewn in a river near the coast of the southwestern part of the state,' Malaysia's Criminal Investigations department head Commisioner Datuk Bakri Zinin told AFP, the French News Agency.

'Police have detained eight suspects in the case and they provided information that led us to the location where the remains were found,' he added.

'We will have to do a DNA analysis to fully determine the identity of the remains but we are confident these are the remains of the four.' Mr Barki said one of the detainees was a 38-year-old lawyer who is believed to be the mastermind and who owned the land where the bodies were burnt.

He said the lawyer, who was handling a land deal for Sosilawati, was also being investigated over the the disappearance of four other people.

Ahead of police confirmation of her death, the influential Malay-language Utusan Malaysia daily carried a banner headline in its Sunday, 12th September 2010 edition stating 'Sosilawati was Murdered", quoting police sources.

Sosilawati's mysterious disappearance has been on the front pages local newspapers for the last week as police carried out a nationwide search for the tycoon amid fears that she had been abducted and murdered.

Meanwhile, The Singapore Straits Times reported today Monday 13th September 2010 that the lawyer brothers at the heart of the murder investigations into the deaths of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and three others are also linked to a missing Indian multimillionaire.

Police also revealed on Sunday, 12 September 2010 that the brothers, aged 38 and 41, were being investigated over the disappearance of three others over the past year.

The Indian multi-millionaire, from Chennai, was believed to have been involved in several joint business ventures with the brothers, according to NST.

The businessman was persuaded to come over to Malaysia last year and rented a house in Bandar Sungai Emas, Banting. For the next few months, he was seen with the brothers, one of whom is a Datuk.

A source close to the investigations revealed that the businessman went missing in December but the people in Banting thought he had returned to India. But in February, the man's family came to Banting and said they had lost contact with him.

They also started looking for him. They enquired about the Datuk and his brother but they, too, had gone missing. The Indian businessman's family then lodged a missing person's report but nothing came out of that.

Police now have reopened investigations into three other similar cases where the people who had business dealings with the brothers disappeared.

On Wednesday, 15 September 2010, the newly appointed Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said a task force had been set up to investigate all missing person reports linked to the suspects.

“There should be no more slacking or ignoring missing person reports,” he said.

Meanwhile Federal CID director Commissioner Datuk Seri Bakri Zinin said on Sunday 12th September 2010 that four missing person cases would be re-investigated based on police reports lodged by their families linking the duo.

Sources said that among those missing and believed to have been “disposed of” were an Indian national, a local woman and two men.

It is learnt that the police’s anti-money laundering division would be applying to the Attorney-General’s Chambers for an order to freeze the assets of the lawyers.

The gruesome murders also grabbed the attentions of Malaysia's Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

On Thursday, 16th September 2010, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has congratulated the police for their efficiency in solving the murder of Datuk Sosilawati and 3 others.

He also urged the people to give the force “the time and space to handle the case so that all involved in the crime could be brought to justice”.

“This success (of the police) is very encouraging. I congratulate the police force for having acted fast.

“I hope they will gather all the evidence so that the court will have no doubt in imposing a sentence that commensurates with the seriousness of the crime committed,” he told reporters when asked to comment on a statement by newly-appointed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar that the murder of Sosilawati and three men had been solved.

Millionaire murdered Timeline of killings

Aug 28: Local beauty products founder Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya is last seen in public at a buka puasa event in Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam.

Aug 30: Sosilawati, 47, leaves her house in Gombak for Banting to discuss a land deal worth RM1.4mil. She had told one of her daughters that she would be in Banting for three days.

Sept 1: Three days have passed and there are no signs of Sosilawati, her driver Kamaruddin Shamsuddin, 44, lawyer Ahmad Kamil Karim, 32, and financial adviser Noorhisham Mohammad, 38.

Sept 5: Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah says police received a report on the disappearance of the four.

Sept 6: The luxury cars belonging to Sosilawati and her lawyer are found in Subang Jaya.

Sept 9: A suspect is arrested.

Sept 10: The detained suspect leads police to a place where several of Sosilawati?s belongings are found. Five people from the area are arrested. A lawyer is called in to have his statement recorded at the Kuala Langat police headquarters before being released.

Sept 11: Two brothers are arrested. Police learn that the victims may have been murdered and their bodies burnt before the ashes were strewn in a river near Ladang Gadong in Tanjung Sepat, near Morib.

Sept 12: Police confirm the arrest of two lawyer brothers, one of them a Datuk, in connection with the murders. -- THE STAR/ANN

Photos/Reports sourced from The Star Malaysia & Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency)

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