Two suspects were charged with the gruesome murder of Tan Aik Chai while a manhunt continues for several fugitives hiding in Thailand and nine new suspects involved in the alleged premeditated killing.
- Duo, 20 and 24, charged with murder
- Manhunt for fugitives in Thailand and 9 new suspects
- Killing stemmed from dispute over victim’s RM50k debt
Two suspects in the grisly murder at the Taman Pelangi petrol station were charged at the Johor Baru magistrate’s court today.
Yip Kah Hou, 24 and Gan Jia Ji, 20, arrived at the court in civilian attire at around 8.45am before the case proceeding began at around 9.30am.
As this is a murder case under Section 302 of the Penal Code, no plea was recorded in court.
The charge on Yip read that he and Gan, together with three others still at large, had allegedly abetted the murder of Tan Aik Chai, 44, at a petrol station at Jalan Sri Pelangi, Johor Baru, at 7.30pm on Dec 17.
His charge was read together with Section 109 of the Penal Code for abetting a crime.
Gan was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code with five others who are still at large for allegedly murdering Tan at the same time and place.
Prosecuting the case is deputy public prosecutor Muhamad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali, while Yip, who is a restaurant helper, is represented by lawyer Chuah Shyue Chien.
Gan was unrepresented.
Magistrate Hajar Mohd Ali fixed Feb 13 for mention and the submission of a forensic report.
The case’s investigation is still ongoing, as police are still looking for nine other suspects.
It was reported that both the suspects who were charged have previous criminal records.
Yesterday, Malaysian police intelligence revealed that several suspects linked to the petrol station murder might have gone underground in Thailand.
Bukit Aman CID director, Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd told Bernama in an interview that efforts were underway to track down and nab the fugitives via the assistance of the Royal Thai Police (RTP).
He said he was confident all the suspects who fled to Thailand would be tracked down, arrested and brought back to Malaysia to face justice.
“We believe a few of them have fled here. We have obtained their records (of slipping into Thailand)…one of them is the main suspect (in the murder).
“It is just a matter of time (before they are arrested),” he was quoted saying, adding that the records consisted of the photos and documents of the suspects as well as other details.
Wan Ahmad Najmuddin acknowledged that the Malaysian police had received a positive response from the RTP, adding that his deputy and the Malaysian police’s liaison officer in Thailand would coordinate the search for the fugitives.
On December 17, four men stabbed the 44-year-old victim at the petrol station in Taman Pelangi, Johor Baru. As the victim lay bleeding on the ground, the assailants ran over him twice in their BMW car.
The case became viral on the Internet after the incident was recorded on video by patrons at the petrol station and widely circulated on social media.
The video footage showed the victim being involved in a scuffle with four men who had tried to grab and push him into their white BMW after he had stopped at the petrol station to fill air into his car tyres.
The victim’s wife, a Vietnamese woman in her 20s, was inside their Volkswagen car at the time of the attack but had fled to safety when the fight between her husband and the four attackers escalated.
The victim sustained internal injuries in the chest area when one of the suspects stabbed him during the fight.
It was reported that the police had detained 15 individuals to facilitate investigations into the murder, with 13 of them subsequently released.
According to Wan Ahmad Najmuddin, the police believe the case has been solved as they have all the evidence to charge the suspects in court.
He said investigations revealed the murder was carefully planned with certain individuals assigned to trail the victim’s car and deflate the tyres at the petrol station.
He said the killing had stemmed from a dispute over the victim’s RM50,000 debt and not due to ‘turf war’ involving two gangs as was initially thought, adding it was not a triad war.
Meanwhile, the Johor state police are in the midst of tracking down nine new suspects linked to the petrol station murder.
Johor police chief Commissioner Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said the nine suspects were aged between 21 and 40, and believed to be members of a secret society.
He added that police would not rest until all the suspects were brought to justice as the crime committed was heinous and vicious.
“We believe all of them had a role to play in the case and they have criminal records.
Warrants of arrest have been issued and we seek public cooperation,” he told a press conference at the Pontian police headquarters yesterday.
He said police believed the nine suspects were still hiding in the country.
He added that all the suspects are from the same gang and the victim was also a gang member.
He also revealed that the police are still looking for the knife used in the murder.
“We already know the area where the knife is,” he said.
The weapon is believed to have been discarded along Jalan Kota Tinggi to Pengerang.