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KLIA shooting suspect’s escape attempt foiled at hospital

For illustration purpose only. PHOTO: ENVATO

KUALA LUMPUR (ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES) – After a botched attempt at shooting his wife at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) – which saw a bodyguard critically injured – the assailant allegedly planned to flee Malaysia.

Amid the chaos at KLIA Terminal 1 during the early hours of April 14, the 38-year-old suspect, Hafizul Harawi, drove off in a white Honda Civic car and headed north.

He changed the vehicle’s number plate before arriving in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, in the afternoon of the same day.

There, he used one of the four identity cards he had – all belonging to other people – to book a hotel room. Strangely, though, he then decided to collect the results of a medical test, which he had taken a week before, at a private hospital in Kota Bharu.

That proved to be his undoing.

The police tracked him down and he was arrested in front of the hospital at around 3pm on April 15 – about 38 hours after the shooting.

Federal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Director Commissioner Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said it was a joint effort by CID elements from Selangor, Kelantan and Bukit Aman that led to the capture of the suspect.

“Based on our investigations, the man was making arrangements to leave the country,” said Mohd Shuhaily at the Kelantan police headquarters on April 16.

“He had been in and out of Malaysia on numerous occasions prior to his arrest. Just last week, he came back from Saudi Arabia and landed in Bangkok. He then made his way to Kota Bharu from there.”

The suspect had gone to the hospital for his medical check-up then.

“During interrogation, he told us he went to the hospital to collect the results of the check-up,” Mohd Shuhaily said.

Asked if the man was planning to head to Saudi Arabia via a neighbouring country, the Commissioner did not rule out that possibility.

He said it was also premature to comment on whether the suspect had gone for the medical check-up for travel visa arrangements.

“We cannot rule it out. We do know that he was making arrangements to leave the country.”

Mohd Shuhaily said the police found a Glock pistol with one round in the chamber and eight rounds loaded in its magazine.

They also found a box containing 24 more bullets in the suspect’s car. Further checks led to the seizure of 10,100 Saudi Arabian rials, some Thai baht, and the four identity cards.

“One of these identity cards was used to book the hotel room he was staying in,” said Mohd Shuhaily, adding that investigations showed the suspect worked alone and did not have a network helping him.