Crime & Courts

Family of job scam victim request second autopsy in Malaysia

KUANTAN: Suspecting foul play behind the tragic death of odd-job worker Muhammad Izzat Abdul Wahab in Myanmar, the family want a second post-mortem conducted on the remains once it arrives in Malaysia.

Izzat, 28, allegedly died due to a heart attack at the immigration centre in Tachileik, Myanmar on Oct 14 after he was rescued by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) from a hotel in the district located in eastern Myanmar.

Izzat's brother Muhammad Hasmalizam, 45, said the family suspected that something was not right after the doctor at a hospital in Tachileik informed that Izzat died due to heart issues without even performing a post-mortem.

"I was informed by the Malaysian embassy in Myanmar that a hearse from Yangon, Myanmar left for Tachileik yesterday and will bring Izzat's remains to the Yangon General Hospital for post-mortem procedures. I will be travelling to Yangon with two other family members on Oct 20(Friday) and we expect the autopsy to be conducted over the weekend.

"Regardless of the findings (post-mortem), the family wants to bring Izzat remains back to Malaysia for a second post mortem. We want to seek justice over my brother's death...he died while in detention and to date, no post mortem was conducted but the hospital verbally claims he had heart issues.

"We are not blaming anyone (over the death) but want to ensure the truth behind his death as he was always an active person and had no previous health issues. The family will accept if the second autopsy results shows that my brother died due to a heart attack," he told reporters when met at his house at Kampung Peramu here today.

Semambu assemblyman Chan Chun Kuang and Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation(MHO)'s public relation officer Daniel Khoo were also present. MHO is the NGO responsible for rescuing Izzat from the hotel in Tachileik before sending him to the immigration centre.

Meanwhile, Hasmalizam said the family had initially agreed to bury Izzat in Myanmar but felt that it was only proper for them to conduct a second post-mortem in Malaysia to get the truth.

"If his death is not related to heart ailment and was caused by other reasons, then it will certainly be an eye-opener for other Malaysians. Izzat was rescued by the NGO from the hotel and sent to the immigration centre for the documentation process(to return to Malaysia) but he died.

"In case foul play is involved, then we will decide on the next move and believe it is time for the government to look into the procedures when rescuing scam victims. Where should the victims be sent after being rescued from a scam syndicate in the future?," he said.

Hasmalizam said his other brother Mohd Asmawi, 43, along with a nephew will be joining him to travel to Yangon on Friday(Oct 20).

"Once we reach Yangon, representatives from the Malaysian embassy will meet us and guide us on the procedures including post mortem at the hospital and plans to bring home Izzat's remains.

"The embassy has been providing a lot of assistance. I hope Wisma Putra and the Malaysian government will make it easier for us to bring Izzat remains back home to give him a proper burial," he said, adding the family was unsure when they would be able to bring Izzat remains to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Semambu assemblyman Chan Chun Kuang said the cost to bring Izzat's body back to Malaysia is expected to be around USD6,000 (RM28,440).

"The cost could be higher. So far, Petaling Jaya member of parliament Lee Chean Chung and myself have contributed RM7,000 and I will inform the matter to Pahang menteri besar(Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail) to see how assistance can be provided to the family," he said, adding MHO has also began fundraising to help the family.

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