JEMPOL: Two more Thais were arrested in Perlis today, bringing to eight the number of Thai nationals nabbed for the fatal shootout at the Malaysia-Thailand border yesterday, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
He said the two suspects were arrested at 7 am at the border wall in Padang Besar, bringing to four the number of Thais nabbed in Malaysian territory after the shootout.
The other four suspects were arrested by Thai authorities in Thailand yesterday.
“We believe these two Thais could not escape because they failed to find a way to get past the border wall. So, when we (security forces) conducted ‘sweeping’ in the farms and bushes, we came upon these two.
“They have been taken for further questioning. We are in talks and will make an official application to the Royal Thai Police to hand over to us the four arrested in Thailand to face justice (in Malaysia),” he added.
He told reporters this after attending the burial of Corporal Baharuddin Ramli, 54, who was killed in the shootout with smugglers early yesterday.
Abdul Hamid said the Criminal Investigation Department with the help of a forensic team was combing the area to look for the weapons used by the group of smugglers.
The smugglers might have dumped their firearms in the bushes in their haste to escape after the shootout, he added.
“They are probably waiting for the situation to quieten down before attempting to cross the border wall; the two nabbed this morning were trying to do that,” he said.
Asked how many more suspects police were looking for, he said police would get the answer only after they have finished questioning those arrested.
“Some information said more than 10... maybe 12,13 or 14 but we are not sure,” he said.
Cpl Baharuddin, from the 3rd Battalion (Senoi Praaq) of Northern Brigade GOF, and his colleague Cpl Norihan a/l Tari, 39, were on intelligence-gathering rounds when they stumbled upon the smugglers.
Norihan was seriously injured in the shootout and admitted to Hospital Tuanku Fauziah in Kangar where he underwent surgery yesterday evening.
Earlier today, Abdul Hamid spent about two hours visiting the family of Cpl Baharuddin and also to pay his last respects to the slain policeman, who was buried at the Orang Asli cemetery in Kampung Sungai Sampo, Bandar Sri Jempol here.
Cpl Baharuddin was laid to rest at 12.20 pm, with hundreds of people comprising family members, relatives, villagers and police personnel attending his funeral. — Bernama