KUANTAN: A businessman is now in a coma after he was robbed at gunpoint and shot in the neck at his business premises near here this morning.
The 40-year-old victim, who has yet to regain consciousness since the 6am incident, is being warded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital (HTAA).
Sources said three police corporals have been arrested to facilitate investigations into the case.
It was learnt that that two of them, attached with the district Traffic Enforcement and Investigation Department (TEID), were picked up at two separate locations in the city between 8am and 9am.
The third policeman, from state police headquarters' Control Centre, was nabbed at Jalan Pintasan Kuantan-Pelabuhan here, somewhere after 9am.
The arrests came just three hours of the 6am incident at the 40-year-old victim's outlet at Kampung Jaya Gading.
The source added that police got their break after one of the trio - aged between 25 and 30 - had accidentally dropped his wallet at the crime scene.
It was learnt that the trio had arrived at the victim's cigarette storage area and demanded money from him.
"However, the victim refused, which triggered an altercation. One of the suspects then fired a shot hitting the victim's neck," he said.
They then fled the scene in a Perodua Viva.
Members of the public who heard the gunshot rushed to help the victim and sent him to HTAA.
At the crime scene, police scouring the area for clues found a wallet believed to have been accidentally dropped by one of the suspects.
Sources said the find led police to the arrests of the trio, aged between 25 and 30.
"All the suspects will be remanded to assist investigation. Currently, we believe that robbery is the motive behind the shooting," he said.
Meanwhile, district police chief Assistant Commissioner Abdul Aziz Salleh confirmed that a report has been received on the incident and the case is being investigated under Section 8 (a) of the Firerms Act 1960.