Kovan murders: No warning, no escape for suspect

Kovan murders: No warning, no escape for suspect
The restaurant entrance where policeman Iskandar Rahmat was arrested, right outside the Singgah Selalu Restaurant in Danga Bay.

SINGAPORE - The motive remains unclear. But what is certain is that the suspect, Iskandar Rahmat, a senior staff sergeant with Bedok Police Division, had time to park the stolen getaway car in an industrial estate in Eunos, return home to retrieve his passport and green Vespa scooter, before hightailing it across the border.

But when Iskandar was arrested at 11.30pm on Friday night in front of the Singgah Selalu restaurant in Danga Bay, Johor Baru, he had neither time to order nor eat his food.

He was near the exit when a group of men - policemen in plain clothes - came up. One of them put an arm on his shoulder to prevent him from getting away, said an eyewitness at the popular and crowded restaurant.

There was no scuffle and he was led away to an unmarked car. Restaurant manager Rohani Awang, 48, said not many people realised what was happening.

According to Malaysia's Bernama news agency, Bukit Aman's Criminal Investigation Department director Hadi Ho Abdullah said that the Royal Malaysian Police had received "detailed information" from their Singapore counterparts.

It was this information that helped them track Iskandar, he said.

Iskandar was "positively identified" crossing the Woodlands Causeway border at about 11.20pm on Wednesday, said sources in the Malaysian media - just hours after the grisly murder and while his colleagues were still poring over the crime scenes.

It is believed that he then checked into the budget- priced Tune Hotel, owned and run by AirAsia, located just down the road from the restaurant where he was arrested.

The New Straits Times reported that Johor's police officers were briefed about the suspect on Thursday, sparking off a massive manhunt.

Johor's officer in charge of criminal investigations, Dr Hashim Harun, told The New Paper on Sunday that a team of "four to five men" had been in charge of capturing the policeman.

When asked, Dr Hashim declined to elaborate on how the fugitive was tracked and would say only that they "found him wandering around JB (Johor Baru) Town and we just picked him up".

His green Vespa scooter has been impounded and it is understood to have been brought back to Singapore for investigations.

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