Malaysian Indian admits links with serial killers

P. Balasandram, a motor workshop owner from Kuala Langat, Selangor state, said he is still being haunted by his "grave mistake" of having links with the lawyer brothers arrested for the killing of a businesswomen and three others last month.

Balasandram's wife T. Selvi was slashed to death by two men in front of their Banting home in April last year. But the man said he did not pursue his wife's killers because he feared for his own and his sons' safety.

Balasandram said his biggest mistake was being part of a negotiation on lending money to the lawyer brothers now facing probe into the murder of cosmetic tycoon Sosilawati Lawiya. Sosilawati, 47,  and her three male companions were allegedly beaten and murdered last month.

"Not only did I lose money in the venture but my wife's life became the ultimate sacrifice," Balasandram told The Star newspaper.

Selangor police chief Deputy Commissioner Khalid Abu Bakar said the lawyer brothers, who used to have a money-lending business with Balasandram, have also been implicated in Selvi's murder.

Balasandram said the lawyers had acted as the "middle person" and witnesses for three loan agreements signed in 2006. However, he said only one borrower had repaid his loan in full.

The dispute arose over RM80,000 ($27,777) lent to a woman who was "protected" by the lawyer brothers.

Balasandram said when he sent a letter of demand to the brothers and the borrowers, they called him and his wife to their legal office in November 2007.

"The woman who borrowed the RM80,000 was there. They threatened to harm my family if I continued to pressure them for my money," he said.

Besides Selvi's case, the police are also probing links of the lawyer brothers, who have not been named so far, with Indian national A. Muthuraja who has been missing since January when he came to Malaysia to fix a business deal.

The sensational murder of the cosmetic millionaire is being linked to the killings of 17 people, including four ethnic Indians, which took place in the country between 1992 and last year.

Malaysia is home to 1.7 million ethnic Indians. A bulk of them are Tamils, who retain their links with Tamil Nadu in India and with Jaffna in Sri Lanka.

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