QUICK WORK: Police found the abandoned trailer and 25 tonnes of iron rods within 24 hours
JOHOR BARU: WITH just a phone call, two criminals managed to deceive a trailer driver into sending more than RM100,000 worth of iron bars to them when it was supposed to be sent to another company last Friday.
In the 12.15pm incident, the trailer driver who was at the Tampoi Industrial Area, here, received a call from a man claiming to be the "buyer" of the iron rods.
The "buyer" asked the driver, in his 40s, to transport the iron rods to another location, which the latter did.
State police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff said the trailer was intercepted by a car and two unknown men.
"The suspects covered the driver's face with a cloth believed to be laced with chemicals before he passed out," he said at the state police contingent yesterday.
Mokhtar said the unconcious victim was left by the roadside. After he had recovered, the driver informed his employer about the incident.
After unloading the iron rods at a warehouse in Pasir Gudang, Mokhtar said, the suspects abandoned the trailer in Tampoi.
A police team, alerted of the hijack, found the abandoned trailer. The 25 tonnes of iron rods was missing.
Investigators worked on several leads that led to the arrest of two suspects, aged 30 and 62.
Based on information gleaned from them, Mokhtar said police recovered the stolen iron rods in Pasir Gudang within 24 hours.
"Investigators are not dismissing the possibility that the hijack was an inside job based on the circumstances leading to the hijack.
"The two suspects, one of whom has two prior drug-related records, are in police custody for further investigations," he said.
Meanwhile, police also busted a Klang Valley-based gang which specialised in robbing mobile phone shops in Johor, Negri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur.
Three male suspects, aged between 25 and 32, were nabbed after they robbed a telecommunications shop in Pekan Pagoh on May 16. They made off with 50 mobile phones.
Mokhtar said a police manhunt traced the suspects to a house in Hulu Klang, Selangor, where the three were detained.
He said police seized a Toyota Camry car with false number plates, 22 mobile phones, five parang, three laptop computers, watches and wallets.
Mokhtar said the suspects had previous criminal records for robbery and drug offences.
"With the arrests, we (police) believe that the gang was responsible for four robbery cases in Negri Sembilan and five in Kuala Lumpur."