Myanmar kidnapping mastermind shot dead

NIBONG TEBAL – A Myanmar man, believed to be the mastermind behind a spate of kidnapping incidents involving foreigners in Penang, was shot dead when he attacked police during a raid on a hut in the Paya Keladi oil palm plantation, Kepala Batas, near here early this morning.

Penang police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said that a police team raided the hut at 1.30 am following a tip-off on a 25-year-old man who was on the wanted list for alleged involvement in the kidnapping of his fellow countryman on Aug 14.

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“During the raid on the dilapidated hut, as policemen moved in they were attacked by a man carrying a machete before the police fired shots at the suspect in self-defence.

“Further examination by the police found the body of the man who had been shot in the head and face while a policeman in his 30s sustained injuries to the shoulder. We also seized the machete used in the incident,” he said at a press conference here today.

He said that further investigation by the police also found a damaged United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) card and the police did not rule out the possibility that the card was fake.

Sahabudin said that the man was later identified by his victim.

It was also believed that the man was the mastermind in the kidnapping incident as well as several other similar cases involving foreigners, especially among Myanmar nationals in Penang.

He said that in the kidnapping incident, police had arrested five local men and six Myanmar nationals including a woman, aged 18 to 45, in a series of raids in Penang and Kedah after they rescued the kidnapped victim on Aug 19.

He also said that police were currently tracking down another Myanmar man in his 30s, whose identity is yet to be ascertained, believed to be involved in the case which was being investigated under Section 3 of the Kidnapping Act 1961.

— BERNAMA