Indonesian suspect remanded for murder of Kim Jong Nam was arrested in Ampang hotel room

VIDEO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Siti Aishah (in yellow top) being escorted into a police car after another woman Doan Thi Huong was arrested a day earlier.
Siti Aishah (in yellow top) being escorted into a police car after another woman Doan Thi Huong was arrested a day earlier.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - In a dramatic breakthrough in investigations into the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother Kim Jong Nam, Malaysian police stormed a hotel here in the wee hours of Thursday (Feb 16) to arrest the second suspected assassin.

The woman was using an Indonesian passport bearing the name Siti Aishah and she was from Serang in Banten province. Her date of birth was given as Feb 11, 1992, and her ethnicity was stated as "Jawa".

Police stormed a third-floor room of a hotel in Ampang at 2am on Thursday to nab Siti Aishah. She had been staying there by herself since fleeing the airport after the killing.

Sources said the room was unlocked when the police barged in. They recovered a stack of foreign currencies, including three US$100 (S$142) notes. They also seized two mobile phones - one without a SIM card and the other with a local SIM card.

Other items found in her room were a Louis Vuitton purse, a shawl, Ray Ban sunglasses, as well as Charles and Keith shoes.

The sources said her Malaysian boyfriend Muhammad Farid Jalaluddin, 26, had driven her from another hotel in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, where she had stayed with the other suspect - a woman with a Vietnamese passport bearing the name "Doan Thi Huong", who was arrested on Wednesday as she was about to board a flight to Vietnam.

Sources said Siti Aishah may have abandoned the first suspect and sought refuge at the hotel in Ampang, waiting to flee Malaysia.

The police had earlier arrested her Malaysian boyfriend but he was not a prime suspect.

"He is not one of the prime suspects but he is assisting us with the investigation," said Selangor police chief Datuk Seri Abdul Samah Mat. "Information that he gave led us to the arrest of the second suspect."

 

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On Monday, a taxi driver who had driven the first suspect from the airport to the hotel in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi was detained and questioned.

Police believed the two women, and four men currently being hunted by police, had done a recce at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA2) a day before the attack.

Sources said CCTV footage from that day showed six people walking around KLIA2. They were seen being playful and spraying liquid at each other.

The police believed the suspects might have carefully planned the attack as they did a surveillance on the airport's security a day earlier.

"They might have been in the middle of choosing the right secluded spot to attack him at the departure hall," the source said, adding that the four men could be the "brains" behind the attack.

Two Malaysian police officers visited the North Korean Embassy in Bukit Damansara on Thursday, presumably to meet ambassador Kang Chol. They entered the compound of the embassy at around 12.50pm and left about 15 minutes later. They refused to comment on the visit when asked by reporters.

Mr Kim Jong Nam was at KLIA2 waiting for a flight to Macau on Monday when two women attacked him with poison. He died en route to the hospital in Putrajaya.