'Messiah' nabbed upon return to rented KL flat

Dorchester Apartment.

James Raj Arokiasamy's stint as the self-styled "The Messiah" was cut short last Monday, soon after he returned to his rented home in Kuala Lumpur.

Unknown to the 35-year-old, a few dozen plainclothes Malaysian policemen were lying in wait at the upmarket Dorchester Apartment where he had been renting a unit for two years. They swooped in as soon as he sat down in the reception hall at about 2pm, said a security guard who wanted to be known only as Bhimendra.

Following the digital trail left behind by "The Messiah" - the online handle he allegedly used when hacking into, among others, the Ang Mo Kio Town Council website - police pieced together his identity.

They also discovered that their target, a Singaporean, was a wanted man here, having jumped bail in 2011 after he had been charged with drug-related offences.

After he was handcuffed, Malaysian police took him to his apartment unit K11-22, said Mr Bhimendra. But outside his apartment, James Raj apparently claimed he had lost his house keys, added the security guard.

Police then proceeded to enter the unit by force.

"There were signs of forced entry after they left," Mr Bhimendra told The Straits Times. "The owner came back last Wednesday to fix the door."

It was only about five hours later, at 7pm, that police re-emerged from the apartment with James Raj in tow, he said. Guards at the condo said James Raj always left home and came back alone. They did not recall ever seeing him with women or children.

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A police spokesman said the arrest was possible because of "the close cooperation and support from the Royal Malaysian Police".

In court yesterday, the prosecution said James Raj had told police he was suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and was on medication.

He later said his words were taken out of context and claimed bias on the part of the police, alleging that he had been assaulted "quite badly" during his arrest and had suffered a concussion.

Speaking clearly, he claimed to have been denied a call to his mother and medical attention for more than 30 hours.

"Everything is quite biased against me at the moment... I would feel quite comfortable if I could speak to my lawyer," he told District Judge Kessler Soh.

Despite the protest from defence lawyer M. Ravi, the judge ordered that James Raj be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric evaluation.

During the evaluation, to take up to two weeks, he will not be allowed access to any third parties apart from medical personnel.

The case against him will be heard again on Nov 26.

When contacted, Ang Mo Kio Town Council general manager Victor Wong said that his office was "neutral" upon hearing about the arrest, and had enhanced its security infrastructure after the attack. "We will continue to be vigilant against such security threats," said Mr Wong.

A Ministry of Home Affairs spokesman said much effort and resources have been required to track down the persons responsible for the recent cyber attacks, including those James Raj is responsible for. He added: "We hope that the community will take a strong stand against such anti-social and criminal acts."

yanliang@sph.com.sg lestkong@sph.com.sg Additional reporting by Ian Poh

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