Police to probe how banned VX nerve agent brought to Malaysia

 |Feb 24, 2017
Pix credit Facebook Khalid Abu Bakar.
Pix credit Facebook Khalid Abu Bakar.

The police are to investigate how the banned VX nerve agent used to kill North Korean Kim Jong-nam was brought into Malaysia, said Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said the VX nerve agent was a lethal weapon and was listed as a chemical weapon under Schedule 1 of the Chemical Weapons Convention Act 2005 and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 1997.

“This chemical weapon is banned. We will investigate how the chemical substance was brought into Malaysia. It will be difficult to detect if brought into the country in small quantities,” he said when approached by reporters at the KL International Airport today.

Jong-nam, older half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) at 8am on Feb 13 to board a flight to Macau an hour later when two women suddenly appeared before him and wiped his face with the palms of their hands which contained a poisonous liquid.

Jong-nam sought help at a customer service counter at the airport and was rushed to the Putrajaya Hospital but died on the way. He had come to Malaysia on Feb 6 and carried a passport bearing the name Kim Chol.

Earlier today, Khalid said in a statement that a Chemistry Department analysis revealed that the VX nerve agent had been used to murder Jong-nam.

Khalid, who was leaving for Makkah to perform the ‘umrah’ (minor Haj), was asked whether the scene of the crime could have been subjected to radioactive pollution.

He said the police were looking into that as well.

Asked about news that the next-of-kin of Jong-nam would come to Malaysia soon to provide DNA samples and claim the body, Khalid said there was no truth to the report.

“There is no arrangement yet for the next-of-kin to come to Malaysia. We have requested the North Korean Embassy to inform the next-of-kin and are still waiting for the embassy and officials to respond,” he said.

Asked whether the police would send a team to Macau to obtain DNA samples of the next-of-kin, Khalid said: “We will not send our team”.

“We will wait for the next-of-kin to come to identify the body. We need the next-of-kin to identify the body, to determine who the deceased is. We will then take DNA samples. We need them to come,” he said.

Asked whether he had contacted the Embassy of China on the next-of-kin of Jong-nam, he said: “No.” It is learnt that Jong-nam had lived in Macau and Beijing.

Asked whether the murder of Jong-nam was a sinister plot of North Korea, Khalid said he did not wish to come to any preliminary conclusion.

“We investigate the death in full,” he said. – Bernama