Top Malaysian banker's killer arrested

KUALA LUMPUR - Police have arrested the prime suspect in the murder of Arab-Malaysian Development Bank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi.

The 44-year-old man, nicknamed Sei Ngan Chai (four-eyed guy in Cantonese), was tracked to a house at Larut Tin Tambahan in Taiping and detained at about 12.30am yesterday.

Two other men, aged 31 and 26, and believed to be his accomplices, were also arrested in the raid.

This ends a manhunt of almost three months for the suspected killer of the 75-year-old Najadi near the Kuan Yin Temple in Lorong Ceylon on July 29. The banker's wife, Cheong Mei Kuen, was also hit but survived.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the two men caught with Sei Ngan Chai were harbouring him.

"He tried to evade the police but the long arm of the law finally caught up with him," Khalid said at the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters.

Police, however, have yet to recover the pistol used in the shooting.

Khalid said the three men have been brought to the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters and have been remanded until Sept 29.

With Sei Ngan Chai in custody, police hope to uncover the motive of the murder and the person or people who hired the hitman.

According to police, the suspect's last known address is in Cheras, and he has a criminal record for possession of stolen goods and extortion.

Police arrested four suspects after the shooting, among them a taxi driver who allegedly drove the getaway vehicle and two women - trustees of the Kuan Yin Temple.

The fourth was a 42-year-old male odd job worker, who was allegedly with the taxi driver during the shooting.

All four have since been released on police bail.

Najadi was gunned down shortly after a meeting over a land deal worth RM40mil. The temple occupies a portion of the land that was being negotiated for sale.

Najadi was neither a buyer nor a seller in the deal but was there to ensure that the temple would not be sold or demolished.

Meanwhile, Najadi's family have expressed relief over the arrest of the main suspect in the banker's murder.

Najadi's son, Pascal Najadi said the news was well-received by the family after going through an emotional time.

"We are relieved and wish to thank the police who have worked hard to bring justice for my father," he said when contacted in Moscow yesterday.