Perak cops to shift search area for Gopeng hiker missing 18 days

Perak police chief Datuk Razarudin Husain speaks to reporters at Mydin Meru, Ipoh April 9, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Perak police chief Datuk Razarudin Husain speaks to reporters at Mydin Meru, Ipoh April 9, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, April 9 — Police believe hiker Mohammad Ashraf Hassan is still alive despite being missing since March 23 during his participation in the Gopeng Ultra Trail 2019.

Perak police chief Datuk Razarudin Husain @ Abd Rasid said the search operation will move to a new area if the 29-year-old who works as a laboratory assistant at the Muar Health Clinic is not found by Saturday morning.

“We will try looking at the place we didn’t search before. Our hope is that Ashraf could still be alive,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today.

Razarudin had earlier told reporters that police are also monitoring some small individual groups who are conducting the search operation separately.

“We don’t want them to go missing as well while conducting the search. So it’s necessary to monitor them,” he said at a blood donation drive in conjunction with the 212th Police Day celebration at Mydin Meru here.

The official search and rescue operation for Mohammad Ashraf, who is from Muar, Johor, was called off after a week when the search team could not find any clues as to his whereabouts.

However, police and Fire and Rescue department are still continuing the search operation on a smaller scale.

Razarudin said police do not suspect foul play behind the disappearance of Mohammad Ashraf.

“The investigation paper on the missing person is almost complete and there is no sign of foul play. We have checked his telephone line, bank account and vehicles. None of them has been disturbed.

“We have also interviewed about seven witnesses, which includes the victim’s family members, friends and the organiser, and there is no sign of external problem as well,” he said.

Razarudin also advises the public not spread any false information regarding the case as it could jeopardise the investigation and create uneasiness to the missing man’s family.