Manhunt on for JB murder suspects

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JB police suspect car used in brutal killing of businessman at petrol station had forged plate number

JOHOR BARU Investigators suspect the car licence plate of the white BMW used in last Sunday's murder of a man at a petrol station in Johor Baru was forged, sources told Malaysian media.

The man died after he was first stabbed by some men, then rammed by their car and finally run over. The incident happened at a petrol station familiar with Singaporeans located near the Causeway Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Complex.

Parts of the city centre of Johor Baru were put in lockdown on Sunday as police launched a manhunt for the suspects.

The Malay Mail reported yesterday that the car plate number WB79L, which Johor police shared on Facebook, was traced to a white 2015 BMW 520d belonging to a 55-year-old man living in Shah Alam, Selangor.

Sources told Malay Mail that, based on the car owner's identity card number, the owner had lodged two reports in the past 10 years over his car.

One was for a car break-in in Gurun, Kedah, in 2010 and the second was a traffic police report in Ipoh, Perak, in 2015. The owner did not have any prior criminal records, one source said.

"Investigators are looking at the possibility that the registration number may have been duplicated and used by the actual suspects," another source said, adding that investigations were still ongoing.

Johor Criminal Investigation Department head Azman Ayob said yesterday that no arrest has been made in connection with the case.

"The case is still under investigation. No arrest has been made. We will (provide an) update of any development in the case," Mr Azman said.

The Star newspaper said the victim was a 44-year-old businessman whose nickname is "Ah Chiu".

All active police units in Johor Baru Utara and Iskandar Puteri districts have been put on standby and alert as the manhunt widens in South Johor, reported Malay Mail yesterday.

Johor police chief Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said that a description of the suspects' car was posted on the Johor police Facebook page. Members of the public are urged to call the police if they find the white BMW.

The motive of the attack, which has been classified as murder by the police, is not clear at the moment.

The incident occurred at 7.30pm in the compound of a Shell petrol station in busy Jalan Sri Pelangi in Taman Pelangi. The man had parked his Volkswagen Polo at the petrol station to check his tyres when the suspects approached him.

Mr Khalil said that one of the suspects then tried to pull the victim into their car, but he put up a fight.

"While he was struggling with the suspects, one of them stabbed him in the left chest, causing him to collapse on the road," he was quoted as saying by The Star.

After the victim was stabbed, the suspects threw what was believed to be a firecracker at him before getting into their car.

The vehicle circled the petrol station before knocking the victim down. After hitting him, the BMW slammed into reverse gear and ran over him again.

The BMW then sped out of the station, stopping briefly for one of the assailants to get into the car.