Female suspects Doan (left) and Siti Aishah.
PETALING JAYA: The two women suspected to have murdered North Korean Kim Jong-nam were allegedly "recruited" by a mysterious man to carry out the deadly task as early as three months ago.
According to a report by China Press, both Siti Aishah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 29, were not North Korean "special agents, but were possibly duped by a spy ring to commit the assassination.
Indonesian national Siti Aishah was arrested at 2am on Thursday, while Doan, who holds a Vietnamese passport, was arrested a day earlier.
China Press reported that the mystery man, believed to be a spy, got to know Doan about three months ago in Malaysia, who eventually became his escort.
The mystery man even took her on several overseas trips, including on one to Vietnam, where they visited her hometown and another trip to South Korea.
China Press reported the mystery man then introduced Doan to the four men still wanted by the police in connection with the killing.
It reported that the mystery man got to know Siti Aishah about a month ago, but only introduced the two women to each other recently when he told them about a "prank " he wanted them to pull off.
The two women have claimed that they had no idea that it would lead to trouble as they thought it was only supposed to be a filming of the prank being carried out.
They apparently rehearsed the "spoof" many times and were able to carry out the process proficiently.
The report also said that Siti Aishah was tasked with using a handkerchief to cover Jong-nam's face while Doan administered an injection.
China Press reported that Siti Aishah claimed she was paid US$100 (RM445) to pull off the "prank".
Jong-nam, 45, was killed by two women who splashed his face with a chemical at the KLIA2 departure hall at about 9am on Monday as he was about to leave for Macau.