GEORGE TOWN - A computer technician, a Net-savvy Casanova accused of cheating women of their valuables and money while posing as a doctor and flirting with them on Facebook, has done a Houdini on the police.
Still in handcuffs, he broke free and fled on foot after arriving at the courthouse here under police escort from the Cameron Highlands on Wednesday.
Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said 45-year-old K.K. Prabaharan (pic), who was under police remand at the Penang prison, pending several court cases, had been taken to the Cameron Highlands on Tuesday for a case mention.
"He was supposed to be brought back to the prison on Wednesday after the case.
"However, a female officer asked that he be brought to the court for a case mention," SDCP Abdul Rahim told a press conference here yesterday.
The police chief said Prabaharan has been charged with 11 counts of cheating in George Town (four), Balik Pulau (two), Central Seberang Prai (two), Southern Seberang Prai (two) and Cameron Highlands (one).
"He is also wanted to shed light into cheating cases in Segamat, Sungai Petani and Taiping," said SDCP Abdul Rahim.
Among the cases he was accused of committing, Prabaharan had allegedly cheated women of jewellery and cash by claiming the valuables would be taken for polishing. On Oct 31 last year, he was charged with tricking a woman into giving him two gold necklaces and an ATM card by promising to marry her.
SDCP Abdul Rahim said the police officer who had escorted him, a 55-year-old woman officer with the rank of assistant superintendent, has been detained to facilitate the probe into the 2pm incident on Wednesday. She would be investigated for, among others, negligence and allowing a suspect to escape from police custody.
SDCP said Prabaharan was last seen wearing a purple T-shirt and brown shorts. His last known address is No 26, Taman Mas in Ipoh.
He urged those with information of the whereabouts of Prabaharan to alert police, believing he was still in Penang.
Meanwhile, in KEPALA BATAS, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said there was no need for police to increase manpower in court to beef security as the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were sufficient.
"We believe there is a different story behind the escape and a female police officer has since been remanded to assist in investigations," he said.