Van driver killed by 'ballpen gun' in Malaysia

BINTULU - Police are baffled after the discovery of a deadly pen that is believed to have caused a van driver's death in the town centre here.

The miniature weapon, in the shape of a ballpoint pen, was recovered from the man after he collapsed in front of a market in the heart of this northern Sarawak town at about 8.30am on Sunday.

The discovery of the "ballpen gun", which is available online, has sounded alarm bells, with police here calling in a pathologist as well as ballistics and chemistry experts from Bukit Aman to help in the probe.

Bintulu OCPD Supt Abdul Razak Mohamad said they were in the dark over the man's use of the weapon and where he got it from.

Relating witnesses' account, Supt Abdul Razak said the unidentified man in his 40s had parked his van and was walking around the place, apparently waiting to pick up passengers, when he suddenly keeled over and died.

"Just before that, witnesses heard a small exploding sound, like a firecracker going off," he said.

He added that the man was holding a small slim item that resembled an electronic cigarette.

"The people around there assumed that he was smoking it before it exploded and killed him," he said.

However, police later realised that the item was a "ballpen gun" - a miniature firearm shaped like a pen that could have come straight out of a James Bond movie.

"We also found in his pocket a small plastic box containing tiny bullets," said Supt Abdul Razak.

The man, he said, had burn wounds on his chest that could have resulted from the accidental triggering of the ballpen gun.