KUCHING: Sarawak police have detained the main suspect believed to be involved in a murder case which had occurred at an oil palm plantation in Ulu Sungai Arip, Balingian, Mukah on Monday.
Sarawak Police Commissioner Mazlan Mansor said in a press statement the main suspect, a 54-year old, was apprehended at a longhouse in Sungai Arip at about 2.30pm on Thursday.
The arrest was carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Mukah and police headquarters in Kuching, the Borneo Post reported.
According to the police, the suspect brought them to a bush where the suspected murder weapon, a shotgun, was recovered.
“The weapon is believed to have been used to shoot the victim on Monday (Oct 24). We have classified the case as solved,” Mazlan was quoted as saying.
The victim was Fabian Janti Lebau, 26.
According to the Police Commissioner, 22 people have been picked up so far to assist with investigations into the murder. They include 10 people from a longhouse in the area and 12 others from Miri.
Nine men, aged between 18 and 45 years, surrendered to the police in Miri. They include four men whose names were published in the media on Thursday.
Mazlan added that the men will be questioned in Mukah, and he congratulated Sarawak CID Chief Dev Kumar for wrapping up the case in three days.
Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar had also congratulated Sarawak police, via a tweet, for solving the case quickly.
Police investigations revealed that outsiders turned up in several vehicles at a blockade at about 5.30pm on Monday at the oil palm plantation.
However, police have still not established the relationship between the plantation company and the outsiders who turned up.
“It is known that a villager discharged a shotgun, and a 26-year old man was hit.
“The outsiders immediately fled the scene, leaving behind the deceased as well as a van,” Dev Kumar said in a statement released on Wednesday.
Police, who recovered two spent cartridges from the area, found the deceased sprawled on the ground with gunshot injuries and slash wounds. He was holding a machette.
It was previously reported that the blockade, set up earlier this month by the villagers prevented the plantation company’s vehicles entering the area via a road which sits on NCR land.
The villagers reportedly want the plantation company to compensate them further for encroaching into NCR land.