Government department director arrested over alleged theft of rhino horn from museum

Johor police chief Datuk Wan Ahmad Najm al-Din Mohd holding a picture of the rhinoceros horn owned by the Royal Museum of Johor that had been stolen, on Dec 25, in Johor Baru. — Bernama pic
Johor police chief Datuk Wan Ahmad Najm al-Din Mohd holding a picture of the rhinoceros horn owned by the Royal Museum of Johor that had been stolen, on Dec 25, in Johor Baru. — Bernama pic

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JOHOR BARU, Dec 26 — The director of a government department was arrested by police last night, believed to be over the theft of a rhinoceros horn belonging to the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, here, two months ago.

Johor police chief, Datuk Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said the 46-year-old director who was transferred to this state in August, was detained after he surrendered himself at the JB Sentral police station, here, at about 9pm yesterday.

“The director is believed to have taken the rhino horn while he was leaving after attending a meeting at Sultan Ibrahim Building in Bukit Timbalan, at about 2.30pm on Oct 19,” he told reporters, here, today.

Wan Ahmad Najmuddin said at the time, the over 100-years-old rhino horn was placed out in the sun in front of the building.

He said the rhino horn was realised missing by the royal museum the same day and from the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) recording, it was found that the department director had taken the horn.

The director then returned the rhino horn which he had kept in his office, through his driver at about 8.15am two days later, he added.

According to Wan Ahmad Najmuddin, the rhino horn was still in good condition when it was returned.

He said police were now applying for a remand order on the director and the case was being investigated under Section 379 of the Penal Code for theft.

“We are investigating the director’s intention of taking away the rhino. The incident should not have happened and we advise the public not to commit such an act,” he added. — Bernama

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