Cops hunt ‘ustaz’ over sex assault of tahfiz school boys

KEPALA BATAS: Police are tracking down two Thai men, including an ustaz (religious teacher) at a madrasah in Tasek Gelugor, near here, over alleged sexual assault involving five male students recently.

North Seberang Perai district police chief Noorzainy Mohd Noor said the boys were among 11 pupils, aged nine to 15, who were ordered to meet two men at a house near the madrasah hostel on Feb 27, on the pretext of attending a Quran-reading class.

“Upon arriving at the house, the boys were split into two groups: five of them were asked to go to a room on the upper floor,” Noorzainy said.

“According to the five boys, a man whom they referred to as ‘ustaz’ recited something to them before sexually assaulting them.”

He said the six others were not assaulted but were ordered by a man there to recite certain verses while he lit a joss stick. All the boys were allowed to return to the hostel at 3am.

Noorzainy said the incident came to light after two of the boys confessed to a female teacher that they had sinned which prompted her to ask for more information.

Following the confession, during a meeting with the madrasah, five of the boys said they had been sexually assaulted. A police report was lodged but the so-called ‘ustaz’ and his accomplice had escaped.

“The landlord has been detained, and police are now tracking down the two suspects, in their 30s, believed to be from southern Thailand, to assist investigations,” he said.

Anyone with information on the two suspects can contact Tasek Gelugor police at 04-573 1200 or district police headquarters at 04-575 9122.