Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taxi driver in banker’s assassin hunt hit with firearms charges

File photo of police taking Najadi's body to hospital at the scene of the crime in Kuala Lumpur on July 29, 2013. -

Taxi driver Chew Siang Chee, arrested by police for allegedly transporting the hitman who killed banker Ahmad Hussain Najadi, today claimed trial to the possession of a firearm and ammunition at the Sessions Court here.

The 45-year-old was detained shortly after the assassination in which the founder of Arab-Malaysian Development Bank was gunned down in broad daylight while leaving the Kuan Yin Temple in Lorong Ceylon here on July 29.

According to a report by The Star, Chew pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing a pistol and four bullets under sections 8 and 8(a) of the Firearms Act.

Illegal possession of guns is punishable by imprisonment of up to 14 years and at least four strokes of the cane, while unlawfully having ammunition attracts a penalty of up to seven years’ jail and a fine of up to RM10,000.

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Chee was one of three suspects detained in the police pursuit of the hitman initially identified as “Sei Ngan Chai” but who has since been named as 44-year-old Kong Swee Kwan.

Kong remains at large and police believe he has now altered his appearance.

Last week, Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah also said two Kuan Yin temple trustees, both women aged 47 and 61, were also being held for questioning to “shed light on the motive of the killing”.

Najadi, 75, who had Iranian citizenship and permanent Malaysian residency, was the chairman and chief executive of multi-billion-dollar corporation AIAK Group.

He had established the Arab-Malaysian Development Bank in 1975, now known as AmBank.

The banker was shot in the chest while his 49-year-old Malaysian wife Cheong Mei Kuen survived the shooting but suffered serious hand and thigh injuries.

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