Breakthrough in Raymond Koh’s Abduction Case

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Police have inadvertently stumbled upon new clues in the case of Pastor Raymond Koh’s abduction after they shot and killed a suspected arms and drugs smuggler.

Leslie Lopez/Straits Times

On Jun 17, police from the Perak Serious Crimes Unit (D9) and Special Task Force On Organised Crime (Stafoc) were involved in a shootout with a suspect near Kampung Weng, Kedah.

Police were forced to take down the suspect in the shootout.

After the shootout, police seized a 9mm gun, bullets, two sets of car license plates, drugs and various documents in the suspect’s car.

“Investigations revealed that the suspect who was in his 40’s was the main suspect in a drug, human trafficking and arms syndicate operating at the Malaysia-Thailand border,” Inspector-General of Police Tan Seri Khalid Abu Bakar said.

“Because of this shootout we caught three more people linked to the dead suspect in Kota Baru, Kuala Kangsar and Kuantan respectively, we have also arrested the suspect’s wife and brought all four of them to Kuala Lumpur for further investigations,” he said at PDRM’s Hari Raya open house event at Bukit Aman yesterday.

He said the suspects, aged between 30 and 60 years old, were believed to be involved in the same syndicate.

“They all have prior records for drugs and arms cases,” he said, adding that the suspect had Malaysian and Thai citizenships.

Khalid revealed that after the shootout, police raided the man’s house in Pengkalan Hulu, Perak, and found compelling evidence that points to Pastor Raymond’s kidnapping.

“In the house, we seized various pictures of what is believed to be Pastor Raymond Koh’s house in Prima 16,” he said.

“In the house, there were also pictures of two vehicles purportedly owned by the pastor, one of which bore the licence plate ST5515D,” he said.

ST5515D is the number plate of Pastor Raymond’s car.

He added that they had also found pictures of a Chinese man believed to be Pastor Raymond.

Found among the pictures of Koh was a cache of ammunition of various calibre, Syabu and a pipe bomb.

Khalid said that the police have been tracking this syndicate since late last year but had no clue that they had anything to do with Koh’s kidnapping.

When asked about the possible motive, he said that police were investigating this link to the case and will update when they are done with investigations.

“We believe they are involved in Raymond Koh’s abduction,” said Khalid.

News of the new lead comes a month after the IGP announced that a local, picked up in a northern state, was detained in connection with the pastor’s abduction.

Koh, 62, was abducted by a group of masked men in SS4, Kelana Jaya, on Feb 13.

Video footage from CCTVs in the area shows at least 10 men and seven vehicles, including three black four-wheel drive vehicles, were involved in the abduction. They forced the pastor’s silver Honda Accord bearing the licence plate ST5515D to a stop in the middle of the road.

The drivers use their vehicles to box in Raymond’s car. A few of the masked men swarm Koh’s car while their accomplices, including at least two persons on motorcycles, ensure no onlookers intervened.

Less than a minute later, Raymond is apparently overpowered and his car bearing number plate ST5515D is driven away, with the other abductors following hurriedly.

The well-executed plan took under a minute to pull off.