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(File pix)

GEORGE TOWN: ​Penang police have refuted claims that an insider had helped a suspect escape police custody by giving him a key to unlock his handcuffs.

Khairul Nizam Abdullah Sani, 33, escaped while he was being escorted along with 29 other detainees from George Town Court building in Lebuh Light to a police vehicle yesterday.

It was initially reported that Khairul Nizam had a duplicate key to open the cuffs.

Northeast district police chief Assistant Commissioner Anuar Omar said they were investigating how the suspect had escaped and that it was too early to draw any conclusions.

"The fact is, the key used to unlock the handcuff was not even a duplicate key but a homemade key. Please do not make any assumptions.

"We are still looking at the matter and investigating all possible angles, including how the suspect got the keys in the first place," he said in a statement today.

In the incident, another man, 37, attempted to escape but was immediately detained while Khairul managed to flee.

"We urge members of the public to be our ‘eyes and ears’ to supply any helpful information to help nab the suspect," said Anuar Omar.

He said that Khairul was arrested for a drug-related offence.

The key was found in a drain at the court, which police believe was used by Khairul to sneak out of the premises.

This marks the second case in three months where a detainee had escaped police custody.

The first case was on July 9 where a 43-year-old man, who was facing a drug-trafficking charge, had bribed several policemen to take him to visit his family and a friend, before escaping at Sungai Ara.

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