Malaysian police are still waiting for information from their UK counterparts to help trace the victims of British paedophile Richard Huckle. The 30-year-old has been handed life with a minimum of 23 years after admitting 71 child sex charges including rape and sexual assault against as many as 200 victims.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Ong Chin Lan of the Federal Police's Sexual, Women and Child Investigation Division said that Bukit Aman, Malaysia's version of Scotland Yard, had already asked the UK's National Crime Agency to hand over details of the case. "So far, the victims have not been identified and the NCA only informed about the incident about one month ago, but no information has been given because the case is still on trial."
Lan added: "We have asked for the information repeatedly and will continue to press them for more information for follow-up action. Hopefully, after the court judgement on Friday, the authorities in United Kingdom can provide us with more information," she told the state Bernama news agency.
When asked whether police will seek the extradition of Huckle to face charges in Malaysia, she said: "We will not try him in Malaysia because the sentence [which will be imposed] in the United Kingdom is for offences committed in Malaysia. [He] cannot be punished twice."
Khalid Abu Bakar, the Royal Malaysian Police chief said that local police had shared intelligence with the UK police. However, he said no help was sought to arrest Huckle while he was in Malaysia.
The police plan to work with a non-governmental organisation to help the victims. No further details were given on this programme or the NGO the police will cooperate with. However, it is not known which churches Huckle was involved in while living in Malaysia from 2011 until 2014. Huckle was arrested at Gatwick Airport by UK police when he returned to the UK.
Huckle is believed to have reportedly abused mainly impoverished Christian communities in Kuala Lumpur, where he posed as an English teacher and Christian philanthropist. According to Sky News, Huckle had offered to help teach at schools and churches in Malaysia and was sometimes employed as a private tutor in his victims' homes.
A church in Petaling Jaya, a suburb, has denied that there was any abuse in the church but its pastor Paul Pakianathan acknowledged that Huckle was a parishioner "on and off". The Community of Praise Petaling Jaya in Taman Medan also insisted that Huckle had not carried out English tuition in the church.
"There was no abuse in our church," Paul told the Malay Mail Online. "Those children supposedly affected by him are not from our church, or from the community where our church is. He just came as a parishioner on and off."
The pastor also told the Malay Mail that he had told Huckle off a few times but declined to give details of the incidents or why he had told him off. "Some of his characteristics I didn't like. He used to take photographs and all that. That's it."
Similarly, the Education Ministry issued a statement saying that Huckle was not in the list of its programmes for either the native speakers programme conducted from 2010-2015, or the English Teaching Assistants programme that started in 2012.
Both programmes involved the participation of foreigners as teachers. "The Education Ministry would like to state here that British-born Richard Huckle has no link at all with the ministry through education programmes as claimed by some irresponsible quarters," the statement said.