17th body found with throat slit in Penang this year

Photo illustration of a knife and a pool of blood. -- NEW PAPER PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Photo illustration of a knife and a pool of blood. -- NEW PAPER PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

NIBONG TEBAL (Penang) - Penang police discovered the body of a man with his throat slit over the weekend, in a case reminiscent of 16 other murder victims in the state this year.

The decomposed remains of the man, believed to be a foreigner, were found at a nursery near a housing project in Simpang Ampat on mainland Penang on Saturday night, The Malay Mail reported yesterday.

Sixteen Myanmar nationals had been murdered in the same way in Penang this year. And as in the previous cases, the victim in the latest incident was believed to have been killed elsewhere and dumped in a remote area.

State criminal investigation department chief Mazlan Kesah said police received a tip-off about a foul smell in the area at about 10pm that night.

"We found a highly decomposed body wrapped in newspapers and covered with boxes," he said. "The victim, clad in a T-shirt and tracksuit, was believed to be in his 30s and we suspect he was killed elsewhere 48 hours earlier."

The victim's throat was slit and there were four deep wounds on his head.

His nationality was not known as there were no documents on him, but the earlier victims were Myanmar nationals who were mostly factory workers.

Police could not provide a motive for the killings, but denied that the murder was caused by communal clashes between Myanmar nationals.

Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the murders involving Myanmar nationals were not related to religious and ethnic strife in their country.

"There is nothing to indicate such cases were related to communal clashes in their country. Nevertheless, we will continue to look into these cases to establish the motive for the multiple murders," he said.

A source close to the investigation told The Malay Mail that the modus operandi of the latest killing bore similarities to the earlier murders.

Last month, The Malay Mail reported that the victims were believed to have been killed over disputes between Muslims and Buddhists from Myanmar.

Police had said they were facing communication problems in the investigations and had requested assistance from the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

No arrests have been made in connection with the murders which began in January this year, but several knives have been recovered.