Drug suspect probably left Penang, says state police chief

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GEORGE TOWN: A drug suspect who escaped police custody on Sunday is likely to have left Penang’s borders, state police chief Comm Chuah Ghee Lye said today.

He said since police have made no headway in the past 48 hours, Anuar Ayat, 43, could have already left the island.

On Sunday, Anuar was believed to have bribed policemen to bring him to visit his family members and then a fisherman, who is believed to be a friend.

During Anuar’s second stop to visit his fisherman friend, he went missing.

Police have detained eight policemen and the 56-year-old fisherman for investigation. They are on a four-day remand until tomorrow.

“We have cast a wider net into our investigation, to include some 20 to 35 men who were taking care of the Bayan Baru centralised lock-up at the time.

“Let me assure you that this is a case of a few rotten apples, in this case confined to the men at centralised lock-up,” Chuah told reporters today.

He spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the Penang Umno Hari Raya open house at Macalister Road today.

On Sunday, six policemen from the Bayan Baru centralised lockup had taken Anuar and two other unrelated detainees in a police van to the Balik Pulau Hospital for a check-up.

Anuar, who was charged with drug trafficking in Sungai Petani and George Town in 2015, was first placed at the Sungai Petani remand lock-up. On Friday, he was brought to Bayan Baru for a court mention on Monday.

The six low-ranking policemen were allegedly ordered by their shift supervisor to take the three suspects to the hospital.

Later, at a traffic light intersection in Relau and Jalan Paya Terubong, the police van was said to have broken down due to a brake failure.

However, Chuah revealed yesterday the “brake failure” incident was fake and so was the whole ruse about having to go to the hospital.

The policemen are being investigated for negligently allowing the detainee to escape from confinement, resistance or obstruction of arrest and making a false report, among other things.

Those who have seen Anuar and know his whereabouts can call ASP Norhisyam Ramli of the Northeast district police at 019-4715484 or dial 999.