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Two men, aged 20 and 24, were charged in court on Thursday (Jan 11) with murdering a 44-year-old man, believed to be a gang leader, at a petrol station in Johor Bahru last month.
According to AsiaOne, the charges were read out in front of the accused, 20-year-old Gan Jia Yi and 24-year-old Yip Kan Hoi.
Both of the accused also had previous criminal records, reports The Straits Times.
According to Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times, Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said police were proceeding with the prosecution of the two suspects after getting the green light from the Attorney General's Chambers.
Investigations against nine suspects are still ongoing.
Gan Jia Yi was charged on Jan 11 charged with murdering Tan Aik Chai, 45, on Dec 17, 2017 at around 7.30pm at the petrol station in Jalan Sri Pelangi. He is accused of having committed the crime together with five others who are still at large.
He was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code with murder read together with Section 34 of the same Code.
Meanwhile, Yip was charged with murder and abetment of murder. He is abetting the crime with three others still at large.
However, no plea by either of the accused was recorded.
Johor's police chief said that the case will still be kept open as the police believe there are still nine other suspects, aged between 21 and 40 years old, who were directly involved in the case.
He added that the police would not rest until all the suspects were brought to justice as the crime committed was heinous and vicious.
He also said that he believes that the nine suspects were still hiding in the country and all efforts were being made to track them.
Malaysian police intelligence has also revealed that several other suspects linked to the brutal murder may have gone into hiding in Thailand, according to a report by Bernama.
Crime investigation department chief Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said efforts were underway to track down and detain the fugitives with the assistance of the Royal Thai Police.
"We believe a few of them have fled here. We have obtained their records (of slipping into Thailand)... one of them is the main suspect (in the murder)", he told Bernama in an interview on Wednesday (Jan 10).
Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin said he was confident all the suspects who fled to Thailand would be tracked down, arrested and brought back to Malaysia to face justice.
"It is just a matter of time (before they are arrested)," he said, adding that the records comprised the photos and documents of the suspects as well as other details.
Mr Wan Ahmad Najmuddin also acknowledged that the Malaysian police had received positive response from the Thai police.
Here is a timeline of events so far:
- Dec 17 2017 - 44-year-old Tan Ah Choy was stabbed at a petrol station and run over by a white BMW twice in Johor Bahru located just 4km from the Causeway. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
- Dec 20 2017 - The victim was revealed to be a gang leader and the dispute may have been due to a turf war. Two suspects were also arrested in connection with the murder.
- Dec 21 2017 - Singapore Police Force helps to nab 7 suspects in Singapore, Malaysian police arrests 4
- Dec 27 2017 - The white BMW used in the murder was recovered by Malaysian police.
- Dec 29 2017 - Remand order for a suspect was extended till Jan 4, 2018.
- Jan 11 2018 - Two suspects were charged with murder.