13 arrested over hijacking of lorry carrying 20 tonnes of wire

13 arrested over hijacking of lorry carrying 20 tonnes of wire
DCP Thaiveegan (right) with SAC Mazlan examining the 20 tonnes of copper wires that was recovered during a press conference in Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

BUKIT MERTAJAM - Police arrested 13 men in connection with the robbery of 20 tonnes of copper wire worth RM400,000 (S$154,000) at the Prai Industrial Zone.

State deputy police chief Deputy Comm Datuk A. Thaiveegan said the suspects, including a Bang­ladeshi and a Myanmar national, aged between 18 and 47, were picked up from four places in Seberang Jaya, Bukit Mertajam and Batu Maung.

"On Saturday, three men, armed with a parang each, hijacked a trailer containing the copper wires after blocking the vehicle's path with a Myvi at about 11.20am.

"The driver of the trailer was forced out of his vehicle, tied up and bundled into the car and dropped off at an oil palm plantation in Machang Bubuk. One of the robbers drove away with the lorry which was later found abandoned in Sungai Bakap," he said.

DCP Thaiveegan said the task force set up to investigate the matter recovered the copper wires, which had been separated and loaded onto three lorries, at a scrapyard in Batu Maung near Bayan Lepas early Sunday.

"Members of the task force raided a second-hand goods store in Bukit Mertajam where nine men including the foreigners were ar­­rested. The other four were picked up Bukit Mertajam, Seberang Jaya and Batu Maung.

"We believe the robbers and the copper wire buyer are among those arrested. They have been remanded by a magistrate's court pending investigations," he said, adding that three of the suspects had criminal records for assault and drug-related cases.

State CID chief Senior Asst Comm Mazlan Kesah said this was the second case of a consignment of copper wire being robbed, after the first in December last year.

"Police are also looking for P. Vick­­neswaran, 28, to help in investigations into the case which has been classified as robbery under Section 395/397 of the Penal Code.

"Those who have seen him or know his whereabouts are urged to contact the Rakan COP hotline (04-2691999) or any police station," he said.

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