Two corporals behind photo of migrant boy in handcuffs

The photo of the boy, taken at Lahad Datu police headquarters, became an online sensation. (Facebook pic)

KOTA KINABALU: A police detective in Lahad Datu has been identified as the man who took a widely-shared photo of a Palauh (sea gypsy) child in handcuffs.

Sabah police commissioner Zaini Jass today said the detective had taken the photo of the child at the Lahad Datu police headquarters on Feb 19, the day the child was arrested.

The sea gypsy boy was among four adult women, six girls and four boys arrested that day.

A photo of the boy begging on the streets with a toy gun in his hand had gone viral on social media.

Zaini said the photo of the boy in the police station was taken by the detective, a corporal in the Criminal Investigation Department, for a friend, also a corporal, at Keningau police headquarters.

“He wanted to tell the friend that the child was caught after being spotted begging for money while holding a toy pistol near a traffic light near Bandar Sri Perdana, in Lahad Datu.

“The corporal who received the photo in Keningau then viralled the photo to the public,” Zaini said here today.

Zaini said the police took a serious view of the case and have ordered disciplinary action be taken against the two policemen for breaching police procedures.

The Child Act stipulates that a child who is arrested shall not be handcuffed unless the offence is a grave crime, or the child forcibly resist arrests, or attempts to evade arrest.