KUALA LUMPUR — October 8, 2018: Police is on a three-pronged probe of a Bangladeshi of Rohingyan descent suspected of tithe embezzlement, forming a deviant Sufi group and terrorism financing.
These simultaneous investigations are being undertaken by at least two units — one specialising in counter-terrorism and the other in commercial crime and illegal organisations.
The Mole was made to understand the man was the same suspect who police had been alerted to in July over an alleged involvement in a tithe scam and the propagation of a deviant Sufi group.
It is understood the police has also been informed over the suspect’s whereabouts, his work-place and the KL-based mosque where he supposedly propagates his deviant teachings and collects tithe payments.
Tithe or zakat is an Islamic tax that is mandatory for Muslims to pay to the poor and needy. In Malaysia, one can pay tithe either to the poor or certified zakat collection agents.
According to police report, the suspect had allegedly sent about RM4 million via over 100 transactions to several banks in Chittagong and Dhaka since his arrival in Malaysia six years ago.
It is believed that the money derived from tithe payments, with the bulk of it being from a well-known clothes retailer, was channelled to a terrorist group called, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (Arsa).
Sources said the alleged scam was not the suspect’s first, as he was previously deported from the United Arab Emirates in 2012 after swindling a huge sum from Bangladeshi workers in Dubai.
He however managed to escape captivity in Bangladesh before entering Malaysia in the same year, and managed to avoid enforcement agencies due to his involvement in an association allegedly linked to a senior politician.
It is understood that besides having a titular position in the association the suspect is involved with, the politician had jurisdiction over an enforcement agency.
“The man and his follower would harass anyone who refuses to believe them before eventually issuing death threats,” claimed a Bangladeshi student of Rohingya-descent who was allegedly threatened.
The suspect’s supposed link with Arsa seems to be in tandem with Bukit Aman’s confirmation on August 27 over the existence of terrorist recruitment drives in the country.
Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said Arsa had been actively recruiting members from among Rohingyan refugees in Malaysia.
Arsa, also known as Harakah Al-Yaqin, started out as a Rohingyan insurgent group active in the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar and is led by Pakistan-born Rohingyan, Ataullah Abu Ammar Jununi.