Couple held for snatching baby from Malaysia hospital

A husband and wife were arrested for snatching a five-day-old baby from Hospital Tanah Merah's paediatric ward in Kelantan.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

TANAH MERAH: A husband and wife were arrested for snatching a five-day-old baby from the district hospital paediatric ward.

The woman was believed to be suffering from post-partum depression after they lost their child in June, and in desperation they kidnapped the baby on Monday.

In the 6.30pm incident, the 26-year-old suspect, who is a mechanic, pretended to be the father of the baby girl to dupe everyone in the ward and went through the standard procedure to discharge the baby.

Several days before the kidnapping the suspect's wife loitered at the ward wearing maternity clothes and acted as if she had just given birth.

The suspects also announced to the nurses that the baby girl was theirs and that they decided to name her as Nur Amyra Sofea Mohd Ihtisyamuddin and paid RM20.50 (S$6.60) to discharge the baby.

District police chief Deputy Superintendent Suzaimi Mohamad said the staff only realised that the baby was kidnapped after the baby's real father Mohd Ihtisyamuddin Mohd Ashri, 29, arrived at the ward at 9am to visit his child who was born last Thursday.

The businessman was shocked when his wife, Siti Norbaiti Bahanaharing, 26, who was crying told him their baby was missing.

Police received information at 9pm and formed a special unit to hunt down the suspects.

"After several hours we managed to locate the suspects with the baby at Alor Hijau Bukit Tanah, Selising, in Pasir Puteh," DSP Suzaimi told reporters here yesterday.

He said a sergeant was told to go to the house and convince the couple to go to the police station.

"We brought the doctor and nurses from the hospital to identify the baby and they confirmed that the baby was the one delivered five days ago.

The suspects were remanded for four days under Section 363 of the Penal Code for kidnapping.