SHAH ALAM: Police today confirmed that a bus driver, who was supposed to ferry the Myanmar women's football team last night, has been arrested.
The 27-year-old man was nabbed for stealing a watch about 10pm, when he was supposed to bring the team back to their hotel after last night's game, which saw Myanmar beating Malaysia 5-0.
This led to a delay in the Myanmar team and officials from reaching their hotel.
Police also found that the driver, who was arrested at the UiTM Shah Alam Stadium, did not possess a driving licence.
Shah Alam district police chief Assistant Commissioner Shafien Mamat said police arrested the man after they found a Rio-Edition Swatch wristwatch, belonging to a Malaysian team official, inside the suspect's bus.
He said initial investigation showed that the official had accidentally dropped her watch inside the Malaysian team's bus, before the suspect boarded the bus and took the watch.
"We believe he stole the watch. He was arrested under Section 379 of the Penal Code for theft.
"He is also being investigated under Section 26(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987 for driving without a licence.
"Police have acquired a remand order against the suspect until this Sunday," he said in a statement.
The matter was brought to public attention when a Facebook page (Myanmar Football 12th Players) posted a complaint over the delay and detention of the driver last night.
"Shame on you Malaysia Olympic Committee. No driver for Myanmar women (sic) team to return to hotel after beating Malaysia women team 5-0, and departure to hotel is delayed till 23:40pm. Shame on you Malaysia.
The page admin wrote that the players were rattled by the arrest. The team’s departure from the hotel to the stadium was also delayed by 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Organising Committee (MASOC) in a statement said the matter has been turned over to the police, and that they would extend their full cooperation to the authorities over the investigation.
Masoc said it would not compromise on security matters especially on contingents involved in the Kuala Lumpur 2017 Sea Games.
"MASOC has also issued strict warnings to KL2017's contractors or transport operators to tighten its screening process as well as re-screen its drivers and their personnel to ensure that they do not have any criminal records.
"MASOC will not hesitate to take action against them including immediate termination of their contract if they fail to comply with this instruction," said the statement.