Wednesday January 9, 2013
‘Curry powder’ used to blind cops could be noodle seasoning
By TAN SIN CHOW
GEORGE TOWN: The “curry powder” used by one of the seven detainees to blind policemen before making their escape from a police van on Monday could be instant noodle seasoning.
According to a source, the powder could have come from instant noodle packets that the detainee's family brought when visiting him at the Penang Prison several days earlier.
Penang police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said samples of the powder lifted from the van had been sent for analysis.
Penang Prison director Rosoman Abu Bakar said they had followed standard operating procedure by conducting a body search on the detainees before allowing them to leave prison.
On Monday, one of the nine 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 in Tasek Gelugor. Two detainees did not run and were picked up nearby but seven others escaped.
The drama unfolded along the Butterworth Outer Ring Road here when four policemen, including the driver, were transporting the nine detainees to court for mention of their cases for remand applications.
During the trip, some of the detainees pretended to fight with each other.
The driver then stopped the vehicle and got down with the other policemen to check on the commotion.
When they opened the door, one of the detainee kicked an officer and threw chilli powder on his face while others attacked the other policemen with their handcuffs.
The suspects then grabbed the keys to unlock their handcuffs before fleeing with the van. They also took with them the two other uninvolved detainees.
DCP Rahim said one of the suspects was aggressive and was deft at unlocking the handcuffs. He was previously investigated under Section 395/397 of the Penal Code for armed gang robbery.