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A Rohingya Refugee Shot Dead in Kuala Lumpur

Mr. Zafor from Sittwe
Mr. Zafor from Sittwe

The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The body of a Selayang wholesale market trader was found in a drain here in a gangland-style execution with a bullet to the head.

The gruesome murder has sparked renewed fear among fellow Myanmar traders at the market, which was embroiled in a bloody gang turf war last month.

Friends said that the victim, 46-year-old Zafar Ahmad Fawzaw Karim (pic), left his home near the Selayang market on Tuesday afternoon, to meet a friend regarding an issue with his work permit.

His friend Yusof Shariff said Safar’s wife had told him that she called Safar a few hours later and was puzzled when her husband spoke to her in Bahasa Malaysia.

 “He told her that he was busy and he would call her later. But he has never spoken to her or any of us in Bahasa Malaysia before. She tried again later but he did not pick up his phone. He just went missing,” he said outside the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary yesterday.

Safar, whose real name is Thi Ha and was born in Arakan, Myanmar, was found on Friday, in a drain in Taman Selayang Makmur.

His hands were bound with a rope, his body, arms and face were black and blue. Besides a shot to the head, he was also shot in the abdomen.

His friends also claimed that Safar was wearing different clothes than the ones he was last seen in. His body was draped in a black shirt and light blue shorts. He was last seen in a pink shirt and dark blue jeans.

“He didn’t have enemies. He was good with everyone, how could this happen? These cruel killers must be caught,” said Yusof, 48, adding that Safar had been working at the Selayang market since 1989.

He said the Myanmar community in Selayang was on edge, following the shocking discovery. This is the second act of violence against a Myanmar worker at the Selayang market this year.

Last month, five men in two cars fired randomly at the night market crowd, injuring a 34-year-old man and a two-year-old boy.

Police here said that a turf war between the traders and a notorious gang, trying to spread their influence to the market, sparked the shooting.

Gombak OCPD Asst Comm Ali Ahmad said there was no report to suggest Safar was involved with any gang, adding that the motive of his murder was still unknown.

“We have identified the friend who called him out and we are tracking him. We are also trying to establish the kind of gun which was used to shoot him, as the bullet wounds were small,” he said.