JB petrol station murder: White BMW found

Police said the vehicle, which is missing its registration plate, was found abandoned on Tuesday at an oil palm plantation in Pontian, Johor, some 68km away from the murder scene.
Police said the vehicle, which is missing its registration plate, was found abandoned on Tuesday at an oil palm plantation in Pontian, Johor, some 68km away from the murder scene.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Malaysian police have recovered the white BMW that was used in the brutal killing of a suspected gang member at a Johor Baru petrol station on Dec 17.

Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd told The Straits Times that the vehicle, which is missing its registration plate, was found abandoned on Tuesday at an oil palm plantation in Pontian, Johor, some 68km away from the murder scene.

"The discovery was made by a member of the public at 3pm. A police forensics team was immediately deployed to the scene.

"The car was then identified as the vehicle that was used to mow down the victim twice at a petrol station in Taman Pelangi," he said in a telephone interview.

Datuk Mohd Khalil said police are confident that the discovery will shed some light on the investigations, as it was one of the weapons used during the assault.

"Right now, we are focusing on finding the other weapon, which is the knife that was used to stab the victim, and three other male suspects who we believe are directly involved in the case. They are still at large," he said.

He added that another suspect had been detained in connection with the case, bringing the number of those in custody to 15.

It was learnt that four suspects - three men and a woman - are expected to be released soon. However, 11 other suspects are still being questioned and expected to be remanded at least until Saturday.

Mr Mohd Khalil said the police may apply to extend the remand orders when they expire.

Police have said that the murder was motivated by a drug debt, though there has been speculation that it was sparked by a turf dispute between two rival underworld groups in Johor.

The Malay Mail Online news site yesterday reported that police would also revisit the issue of the car's ownership by interviewing the owner in Ipoh, as "investigations revealed that the car was not a stolen or a scrap car".

On Dec 17, the victim had stopped at the petrol station when he was assaulted by four men who alighted from a white BMW 5-series car. He was dragged to the assailants' car, but fought back.

An 82-second video clip of the incident recorded by a bystander showed that during the scuffle, the victim was stabbed and left lying on the ground.

Firecrackers were then thrown from the car towards where the victim lay. The assailants' car circled the petrol station and ran over the man, before reversing and running over him again.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2017, with the headline 'JB petrol station murder: White BMW found'. Print Edition | Subscribe