KUALA LUMPUR: Nigerian student Thomas Orhions Ewansiha is believed to have died from a seizure while asleep at the Immigration detention depot in Bukit Jalil.
Immigration Department director-general Datuk Indera Khairul Dzaimee Daud nevertheless said they were still waiting for the final medical report and the post-mortem report to know the actual cause which led to the death of the post-graduate student.
"On July 9, around 12.05am, an officer on duty was informed by other detainees that Thomas was having a seizure while asleep.
"The special treatment unit immediately treated him and contacted Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital for back-up," he said.
Indera Khairul Dzaimee said an ambulance arrived at 12.30am and the medical officers had announced his death after further treatment.
He said a police report has been lodged by the supervisor and on-duty officer at the Bukit Jalil police station. the deceased was among 20 people who were arrested during a Ops Bersepadu conducted at Desa AmanPuri area at 10.45pm on July 4.
He said the operation was conducted following public complaints over an influx of Africans in the Desa Aman Puri area in Kepong.
The presence of the Africans had caused anxiety among local residents as they were believed to be involved in drug abuse and carried out prostitution activities.
During the operation, Africans were found at eateries and had gathered on the ground floor of the flats.
"They fled and refused to give cooperation to be inspected. The deceased was one of them.
"He was however later captured. He then handed over his passport for inspection. Inspection revealed that he had a valid student pass," he said.
Indera Khairul Dzaimee said the deceased's bid to escape had raised doubt on the authenticity of his student pass. He was accused of violating Section 56(1)(I) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 and was arrested under Section 51(5)(b) for 14 days to facilitate investigation."
The Section 56(1)(I) refers to using or without lawful authority has in his possession any forged, unlawfully altered or irregular Entry Permit, Pass, Internal Travel Document or Certificate or other document issued under this Act, or any Permit, Pass, Internal Travel Document or Certificate or other document so issued on which any endorsement has been forged or unlawfully altered.
He said all detainees were taken to Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department office for documentation purposes.
"During the documentation process, he was given basic treatment by the Civil Defence Force personnel on his right calf for existing injuries.
"He didn't inform the department personnel whether he had any health problem. The deceased and other detainees were taken to Bukit Jalil depot July 5 at noon," he said, adding the deceased was well- treated in accordance with standard operating procedure of handling detainees by the officers at the depot.
Meanwhile, Limkokwing University in a posting on their social media handle expressed their condolences over the death of Thomas.
"The University was informed of his passing today (yesterday) and we offer our sincere condolences to his family and close friends.
"By all accounts Mr Thomas was a passionate and kind member of our community, respected by all who were lucky to meet him.
"All of us at Limkokwing University wish to express our heartfelt wishes of love and support to all affected. We request calmness and understanding during this difficult time."