PETALING JAYA: Nigerian native Thomas Orhions Ewansiha was arrested by the Immigration Department because he had tried to flee from its officers during a raid, according to the department.
On July 4, an operation was conducted at apartments in Desa Aman Puri in Kuala Lumpur, which led to the arrest of 20 foreigners.
The raids were a result of complaints lodged against African nationals who were suspected of not having valid documents, the department said.
Residents had also alleged that the use of drugs, prostitution and public intoxication in the area had caused unrest among locals.
"At the time, a group of foreigners had tried to run away while also refusing to cooperate with officers during inspection.
"The person in question (Ewansiha) had also fled but was successfully detained by officers," said Immigration Department director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud in a statement Friday (July 12).
He said that Ewansiha then produced documents that officers found to be valid.
However, his previous actions had cause doubt on the authenticity of documents, and he was then detained for 14 days for further investigations.
"All the OKTs (arrested detainees) were then transported to the Kuala Lumpur Immigration Department office," he said.
Checks were conducted on Ewansiha and treatment was administrated for an old injury on his thigh. He did not specify any pre-existing medical illnesses, according to Immigration.
All the detainees were then sent to the Bukit Jalil Depot at around noon on July 5.
"At around 12.05am on July 9, the officers on duty were told by the other detainees that the subject had had a seizure in his sleep.
"Immediate aid and medical checks were conducted and the hospital was contacted to assist as well.
"An ambulance from HUKM (Universiti Kebangsaan Hospital) as well as an assistant medical officer arrived at 12.30am and they had attempted to help the subject.
"However, he was then pronounced dead," Khairul Dzaimee said, adding that a police report was made on the matter.
He added that the department was still waiting for a full medical report on the subject, as well as the exact cause of death, via a post-mortem.
Ewansiha's death led to a protest outside the Nigerian high commission on Thursday (July 11).