Duo accused of robbing beer-y heavy cargo

SHAH ALAM - A lorry driver and a policeman are accused of ganging up and robbing a lorry container of thousands of cans of an alcoholic brew near here more than a week ago.

Lorry driver M. Manogaran, 45, and Kpl S. Ramunaidu, 53, pleaded not guilty to the offence that was allegedly committed at a Petronas petrol station at Km12.3 of the Klang-bound Federal Highway at 11.30pm on Sept 11.

The vehicle was driven by one S. Munian, 56.

On board were 2,378 cases of 320ml cans of stout, with each case holding 24 cans. The cargo belonged to Carlsberg Marketing Sdn Bhd.

Manogaran and Kpl Ramunaidu, a police escort at the Klang court complex, are liable to be jailed up to 20 years and whipped if convicted for gang robbery under Section 395 of the Penal Code.

The two, who were arrested a day after the alleged offence, claimed trial before Sessions Court judge Mohammed Mokhzani Mokhtar here yesterday.

DPP Salwa Asmary Abdul Rahim told the court the prosecution was not offering bail due to the severity of the offence. "Crimes using force are rampant these days," she said.

However, lawyer Gerard Lazarus objected, saying the prosecution did not have statistics as proof.

Mitigating for a "reasonable amount" of bail, he said: "Kpl Ramunaidu has four children while Manogaran has eight. They are the breadwinners of their families."

Mohammed Mokhzani allowed bail at RM10,000 (S$4000) and one surety each.

The case is fixed for mention on Oct 1.