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Malaysia to probe missing people linked to lawyer brothers

Kuala Lumpur, Sep 16, 2010:

The police in Malaysia are to investigate all reports of missing people who were known to two lawyer brothers arrested for the murder of a businesswoman and three others.

Sosilawati Lawiya, 47, who owned a cosmetics making firm, went missing last week and she was found murdered along with three others at a farm house after a business deal fell through, police said.

The missing people include an Indian millionaire and at least four Malaysian Indians.

The promise to investigate came a day after the police denied reports that it was linking last week's murders with people missing as far back as 1992.

Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar Wednesday said that all reports about missing people will now be scrutinised carefully. A task force has been formed to probe all missing people cases linked to the lawyer and his brother, who are main suspects in last week's crime.

Omar admitted that Sosilawati's case could have been prevented if fast action, including proper investigation, had been conducted over earlier reports of missing persons, The Star newspaper said.

The Indian who went missing is A. Muthuraja, a businessman and investor from India's Chennai's city. He is said to have opened a restaurant here in partnership with two lawyer brothers.

The newspaper said Muthuraja also financed films in Chennai, a major film production centre in India.

His wife said her husband went missing after he flew to Malaysia in January and stayed with the lawyer brothers.

She lodged a complaint with the police here after consulting political parties, including the ruling Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Malaysia is home to 1.7 million ethnic Indians.

Police have arrested the two brothers along with six others, suspected to be henchmen who carried out the crime, but have not revealed any of the names.

The henchmen are said to have "underworld links" and the brothers themselves, being lawyers, dealt with several groups with such links, The Daily Star said Thursday.