After months of disappearance from the public and authorities, cosmetics entrepreneur Nur Sajat (real name Muhammad Sajjad Kamaruz Zaman) was reportedly detained by the Thai immigration authorities on 8th September, Harian Metro reported quoting an anonymous source.
Nur Sajat’s arrest was made after the Thai authorities received information from Malaysian officials regarding the whereabouts of the entrepreneur in Bangkok, Thailand. According to Harian Metro, the 36-year-old was detained in a luxury condominium with a man and a Thai woman during the immigration raid in Bangkok.
The Thai immigration department since March have been tracking Nur Sajat based on the information shared by PDRM. Following the arrest, Nur Sajat was then taken to and detained at the Thai Immigration Headquarters’ Branch of Illegal Immigrants for offences related to immigration in the country. The passport belonging to the cosmetics entrepreneur has also been cancelled by the Malaysian government, a source indicated.
“On 4th June, Thai immigration tracked Nur Sajat’s hiding place to a luxury condo in central Bangkok. After intelligence and observation, on 8th September around 6pm (Thai time), a raid was carried out at her hiding place. As a result, Nur Sajat was arrested and Thai immigration confirmed that she was the individual who escaped and is wanted by the Malaysian authorities,” the source said.
The source added that Nur Sajat was charged in a Thai court for immigration related offences on 9th September but was released the next day on 10th September on a US$2,000 (RM8,343) bail made by her local acquaintance known as Misha. The cosmetics mogul now is said to still be sheltering in a luxurious condo in central Bangkok.
Although she was released on bail, Thai immigration instructed for her to appear at the office every 14 days, the source noted. The source, in response to Harian Metro stated that Malaysian authorities are currently negotiating with the Thai government to bring the queer entrepreneur back to Malaysia.
“Efforts to bring her home to face trial in the Shariah High Court in Selangor for the offence of dressing as a woman that she committed in Shah Alam in 2018 are underway. Negotiations are quite difficult but we remain optimistic to bring her home. It is difficult because there is international intervention involving certain countries and organisations that are hindering it,” the source remarked.
Nur Sajat’s absence from a Sharia Court hearing in February this year concerning a case almost three years ago had prompted a search party and arrest order by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS). The Sharia Court imposed a charge against Nur Sajat under Section 10(a) of the Sharia Crimes Enactment 1995 that provides a sentence not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both, if convicted. The charges were allegedly connected to her appearance in a woman’s clothing at a religious event she conducted in 2018.
Nur Sajat, who is currently on the run, is allegedly applying for protection and permission to migrate to Australia. She is reportedly trying to seek protection from the country, and has been granted a refugee card and status from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) after her passport was revoked by Malaysian authorities.
The same source informed that the UNHCR headquarters in Bangkok has also provided a lawyer for the entrepreneur and is reportedly ready to help her get permission to move to Australia. When asked about the reason for her migration, Nur Sajat claimed that she received multiple death threats after announcing her exit from Islam besides being hunted by more than a hundred JAIS enforcement officers.