A land deal gone awry is believed to have led to the kidnapping of a 55-year-old Datuk Seri, whose body was found in a swamp at Bestari Jaya, Rawang on Saturday morning.
Sources said preliminary findings in the case revealed the abduction stemmed from a multi-million-ringgit land deal that real estate developer Datuk Seri Arumugam Renganathan entered into with another party.
A politician, with the title of Datuk, is said to be the main suspect among the seven men held by police since Saturday.
It is learnt that the 55-year-old mastermind had contested a Selangor state assembly seat in the 13th General Election.
A source revealed that in 2014 the main suspect had also sought to contest a vice-president post of a political party but withdrew at the eleventh hour.
The seven suspects, aged between 20 and 56, including a Bangladeshi, are being held under remand.
The suspects were remanded from between three and seven days.
Meanwhile, Selangor police CID chief SAC Datuk Fadzil Ahmat said an eighth suspect, Sheikh Ismail Sheik Hassan, aged 26, has been nabbed.
“Based on a public tip-off, Sheikh Ismail Sheikh Hassan or “El” was arrested last night at 7.30pm in Bukit Sentosa, Kuala Kubu Baru.
“The suspect has also been remanded for seven days starting today until July 5,” he said in a statement today.
Fadzil added that another individual has been identified to assist police investigations, with the police asking for the cooperation of the public for further information on the whereabouts of N. Vikneswarar or also known as “Thamby@Vinod”.
Vikneswarar’s last known address is listed as New Green Park, Rawang.
Those with information on Vikneswarar are urged to contact investigating officer Farouq Fakhzan Mohd Nordin at 017-2251403.
Fadzil said the cause of the victim’s death had yet to be determined pending a post-mortem, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday.
In the morning of June 10, Arumugam was kidnapped by three men impersonating policemen while he was jogging at a playground on Jalan Persiaran Perdana, Bandar Sri Damansara.
His son, Datuk A Renganathan, 35, went to the playground to look for him and was informed of the abduction by a cleaner who witnessed it.
Arumugam’s spectacles, a cap and cellphone were found at the scene. His son lodged a police report soon after.
Later, Arumugam’s family received calls from the kidnappers, who demanded a RM154 million ransom in Singapore dollars.
It is learnt that police formed a task force to trace the kidnappers before four men were nabbed on Saturday and another three the following day.
The suspects led police to where they had held Arumugam captive at a terrace house in Rawang.
The suspects later revealed the spot where they had dumped Arumugam’s body in Bestari Jaya.
Police said the victim was dead by the fourth day after he was kidnapped.
It is unknown if the victim, who was a diabetic, had died of natural causes or was murdered by his kidnappers.
When contacted, his son declined to comment on the case until the autopsy was completed.
“I am unable to say anything for now until forensic evidence confirms it is my dad. The forensics report will only be out on Friday. When it is confirmed, then I will speak as I wish to also clarify some rumours that are going around,” he said.
A source said the victim had started working as a general worker in the 1990s with the local authority before making it big as a property developer.
Arumugam also owned a popular banquet hall in Bandar Sri Damansara which is leased for weddings and other functions.
Five years ago, he held a gala celebration for his 50th birthday and received a Rolls-Royce car as a gift from his son.
Earlier report: Jun 27, Cops Detain 7 over ‘Datuk Seri’ Businessman Kidnapping, Death in Rawang