Model's murder: Suspect dies in Johor crash

Tunku Alang Reza Tunku Ibrahim (right), a suspect in the murder of an Estonian model Regina Soosalu in Malaysia three years ago, has been killed in a car crash in Johor.
Tunku Alang Reza Tunku Ibrahim (right), a suspect in the murder of an Estonian model Regina Soosalu in Malaysia three years ago, has been killed in a car crash in Johor.PHOTOS: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REGINA SOOSALU/FACEBOOK

31-year-old among seven arrested over death of his Estonian girlfriend in 2014

MERSING • Tunku Alang Reza Tunku Ibrahim, a suspect in the murder of an Estonian model in Malaysia three years ago, has been killed in a car crash in Johor.

Mersing Deputy Superintendent Cyril Edward Nuing said the 31-year-old was in a four-wheel-drive vehicle with three others when it crashed into a bus stop in Mersing on Friday evening, reported The Star.

According to DSP Nuing's statement, Tunku Alang Reza died at the scene of the accident.

The female driver, identified as Ms Salma @ Noraini Adam, 37, was pronounced dead in hospital after succumbing to her injuries. Two other women in the car, identified as Ms Puteri Nur Zawani Mohd Rasid, 33, and Ms Nor Faizah Abdul Malek, 44, were injured.

"Initial investigations showed that the group was heading to Johor Baru from Mersing when the driver lost control of the vehicle at KM15 of Jalan Jemaluang-Mersing," said DSP Nuing.

Tunku Alang Reza first made headlines in July 2014 when he was among seven suspects arrested in connection with the murder of his girlfriend, Ms Regina Soosalu, 23, who was found dead on the beach during a holiday on Pulau Rawa, off Johor's eastern coast.

Police had initially investigated her death as a drowning, but later changed it to a murder probe after suspicious wounds were found on her body.

Media reports had previously referred to Tunku Alang Reza as a member of the Johor royal family. But last month, the Johor Council of Royal Court issued a statement denying he was part of the state's royal family.

The case riveted Malaysians and made headlines. The seven suspects were later released on bail and no charges were filed by the prosecution.

Ms Soosalu's body was flown home to her family in Estonia, but the cause of her death remained a mystery.

Tunku Alang Reza had written about his grief on Facebook, describing Ms Soosalu's death as "the worst tragedy of my life".

He wrote: "Regina, my love, has passed away on July 1, in the holy month of Ramadan. She is my love, my best friend and will continue to be my inspiration for the rest of my life."

They were believed to have been dating for two years before her death.

Pulau Rawa, which is popular with foreign tourists, has been the scene of several untoward incidents, including the mysterious death of Londoner Gareth Huntley, 34, who was found floating in a pond in June 2014, a month before Ms Soosalu's death.

According to the Daily Mail, in May 2011, a group of foreign visitors were involved in a bloody brawl with bodyguards who accused them of interfering with a powerboat belonging to the Sultan of Johor.

The British tabloid also reported that in 2005, a member of the Johor royal family was taken in for questioning after a Brazilian couple's wedding was gatecrashed, resulting in a brawl on the island.

Tunku Alang Reza, sources informed local media, was a keen surfer who knew Pulau Rawa and Mersing like the back of his hand, as these places served as his playground when he was growing up.

His late father, Tunku Alang Ibrahim Tunku Muhammad Archibald, owned the Alang Resort on the scenic island.

Media reports had previously referred to Tunku Alang Reza as a member of the Johor royal family. But last month, the Johor Council of Royal Court issued a statement denying he was part of the state's royal family.

This followed news that Tunku Alang Reza had been charged with drug offences in Petaling Jaya.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 29, 2017, with the headline 'Model's murder: Suspect dies in Johor crash'. Print Edition | Subscribe