Drug smuggling link suspected in Pastor Koh disappearance

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 June 2017: 

Following the arrest of three members of a drug and firearm smuggling syndicate at the country’s border area,  the police have found several documents and pictures relating to Pastor Raymond Koh Keng Joo – who has been reported missing since February.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the suspects were picked up in Kota Bharu (Kelantan), Kuala Kangsar (Perak) and Kuantan (Pahang)  after the key player in the syndicate was shot dead by the police in Kampung Weng Dalam, Kedah on June 17.

Based on investigations at the main suspect’s house located nearby, the police found drugs , pipe bombs, ammunition as well as pictures of the house and car believed to be owned by the 62-year-old pastor.

The operation involving the arrests was conducted by the Serious Crimes Branch (D9) and Special Task Force on Organised Crime personnel.

“We also found the vehicle registration number ST 5515 D and several pictures of a Chinese man…we believe the gang is linked to Koh’s abduction,” Khalid said at the IGP Open House in Bukit Aman here yesterday.

He said three other syndicate members – aged between 30 and 60, including the wife of the suspect who was shot dead – would be brought to the federal capital to facilitate investigations under the Firearms Act.

Initial investigations revealed all members of the syndicate had Malaysian and Thai citizenships, apart from having previous criminal records on drugs and firearms.

Khalid said the police were still investigating whether Koh was alive and when the syndicate of smugglers became active at the Malaysian-Thai border.

On June 17, a criminal believed active in smuggling firearms and drugs from a neighbouring country was shot dead by the police at Kampung Weng Dalam in Baling, Kedah.

In the 4.25am incident, policemen from the Kedah CID headquarters were conducting a patrol when they stumbled upon the suspect’s car by the roadside. The 41-year-old man was ordered out of the car but he fired several shots in the direction of the police who returned fire, killing him on the spot.

Earlier, the police had classified Koh’s case as abduction as there was no demand for ransom.

Four other individuals also reported missing included activist Peter Chong, Amri Che Mat of Perlis Hope Welfare Organisation, as well as pastor Joshua Hilmy and wife, Ruth.

 However, Chong, who is the assistant of Subang MP R. Sivarasa, who was allegedly missing on April 6, returned from Pattaya, Thailand at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on April 16.

The whereabouts of Amri, Hilmy and Ruth are still unknown.

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