KUALA LUMPUR - The first report on missing Indian millionaire Allal Kathan Muthuraja was investigated as a cheating case, police said yesterday.
The report was lodged by Muthuraja's brother, Dr Kasi Viswanathan, at the Klang police station on March 29.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Hussin Ismail said the report stated that Bukit Aman was holding Muthuraja for allegedly trafficking in drugs and that a sum of money was needed to secure his release.
The investigations, however, took a twist following a second report which was lodged by Muthuraja's wife, S. Usharani, at the Kuala Langat district police headquarters on September 8.
Usharani had lodged a missing person's report and after digging further, police linked that report to the murders of Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya and her three aides.
"So, to say that we did not act on those reports earlier is not true," Hussin said at a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.
Since the investigations intensified recently, police have arrested two men who are believed to have extorted money from Muthuraja's family in Chennai, India.
The two men were picked up from their homes in Taman Wilayah, Selayang and Kampung Laksamana, Batu Caves, in the past 10 days.
The two had allegedly impersonated police officers from Bukit Aman to demand RM1 million (S$426,386) from Usharani to secure the release of her husband.
Usharani had told police that she received two calls, one from a caller claiming to be "ASP (assistant superintendent) Suresh" and the other who identified himself as "Inspector Muru".
Muthuraja, 37, was reported missing in January after coming here to meet two lawyer brothers who are now being investigated for eight murders and several fraud cases involving the sale and purchase of several parcels of land.
Hussin urged Muthuraja's family to remain calm and give police time to conduct their investigations.
Police had earlier said that they suspected Muthuraja could have been murdered but were awaiting DNA results to confirm this.
Hussin also urged the family not to listen to speculation on Muthuraja's disappearance but to only liaise with the police.
"We have appointed an officer to deal directly with the family," he said.
Apart from Usharani, Muthuraja's brothers - Kasi and Vijay Subramaniam - are also here to assist police in the investigations.
Yesterday, Usharani, Kasi and Vijay had their statements recorded separately at the Kuala Langat district police headquarters.
Usharani is at loggerheads with her brothers-in-law, claiming that they had threatened her to stop digging into Muthuraja's case and to return to India.
The woman, however, is adamant to stay on to see the case through.
The investigations into the Banting murders, which have taken almost a month, has caught the attention of major media organisations in India as well.
To date, police have arrested the two lawyer brothers from Banting, and six of their employees, all believed to be locals.
Police investigations so far have revealed that at least four victims - Sosilawati, her driver Kamarudin Shansudin, CIMB Bank officer Noorhisham Mohammad and lawyer Ahmad Kamil Abdul Karim - were murdered at a poultry farm in Ladang Gadung, which belonged to the lawyer brothers.
The victims were said to have been beaten, stabbed and burnt before their remains were scattered in nearby rivers and streams.
Investigations into the four murders opened a can of worms when it was discovered that there could have been more victims.
Apart from Muthuraja, police have also began investigations into two other missing persons.
The two have been identified as electrical technician Shafik Abdullah of Sungai Petani, and businessman Thevaraj Shanmugam of Taiping. The two have been reported missing in April.
Another victim, housewife T. Selvi, who was murdered outside her home in Banting last year, could also have been a victim of the men currently under investigations.
Apart from Selvi, the bodies of the seven other victims have not been found.
Police have only found bone fragments in the rivers, which have been sent for DNA profiling to ascertain the identities.