Croc releases missing Suai villager’s body by riverbank

The victim’s body is prepared for transportation to the hospital for a post-mortem.

MIRI (May 14): Missing Rumah Sanjan Jangan villager Bungkung Chaling’s body was found by his nephew yesterday, when the latter spotted a crocodile release it by the riverbank in Suai, Niah.

A Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) spokesperson said longhouse residents had conducted a search for Bungkung at his plantation, where he was last known to have gone by himself around 4.30pm on Wednesday to set up fishing nets.

“The search was initially conducted around the victim’s oil palm plantation but there were no signs of him in the area. The villagers were later divided into two groups, one to look for him along Sungai Buluh and another around Sungai Sandai,” the spokesperson said.

“During the search, a dog belonging to one of the longhouse residents fell into Sungai Sandai before it was attacked by a crocodile. At about 5am, the victim’s nephew saw a crocodile devouring the victim. The crocodile then sank into the river before releasing the victim by the riverbank a few minutes later.”

The 50-year-old’s father-in-law first noticed his disappearance around 8pm, when he did not return from the plantation.

His sister then lodged a report at the Batu Niah police station.

A team of four firefighters from Batu Niah fire station led by station chief Francis Aceh went to the scene located some 70km from the station after they received a report at 10.33am.

“The process of pulling the body ashore was done by those from Batu Niah fire station. The victim was spotted near the riverbank, approximately five metres away from the ground. The fishing net, believed to belong to the victim was also discovered nearby,” said the SFC spokesperson.

“Preliminary observation of the victim’s body found several injuries suspected to be from a crocodile bite on his right arm and right chest.”

The SFC spokesperson said during a meeting at the longhouse, the village chief and the victim’s family were requested to work with the relevant agencies to get help to address the crocodile attacks.

Bungkung’s body was later taken by Batu Niah police to Miri Hospital for a post-mortem.

He is survived by his widow.


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