Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Seven flee with van after throwing chilli powder at policemen

Butterworth: Detainees being taken to the Butterworth court complex in a police van threw chilli powder at policemen who were guarding them before escaping with the vehicle.

The van was later found abandoned at a village. Two detainees were picked up nearby and taken to the court here but seven others escaped.

The drama unfolded at about 9am yesterday when the van was travelling along the Butterworth Outer Ring Road here.

State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said the four policemen, including the driver, were transporting nine detainees, who were being taken to the Butterworth courts for mention of their cases for remand applications.

He said detainees, mostly involved in robbery and theft cases, had been fetched from the Penang prison.

“During the trip, some of the detainees pretended to fight with each other.

“When the driver stopped the vehicle and got down with the other policemen to check on the commotion, a prisoner kicked an officer and threw chilli powder on his face.

“The policemen were also hit with the handcuffs worn by the detainees.

“The suspects then grabbed the keys to unlock their handcuffs before fleeing with the van. They also took with them two other detainees.

“The van was recovered near a railway crossing at Kampung Padang Cempedak in Tasek Gelugor, nearly two hours after the incident, while the two detainees were found nearby.

“We believe the seven detainees are hiding in an oil palm plantation in Tasek Gelugor,” he said after visiting the four policemen at the Seberang Jaya Hospital's outpatient unit here yesterday.

DCP Abdul Rahim said the van driver required several stitches on his head and the three others sustained cuts and bruises on their bodies.

At press time, a manhunt was still on-going for the escapees.

The escapees have been identified as Mohd Sharimy Nor, 28, Farid Akhtar, Mohd Khairulnizam Abdul Rani, 26, Hamzani Abdul Rahman, 37, Hissham Abdul Rahman, 39, Mohd Fairus Adam, 31, and Mohd Noor Mustafa, 28.


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