Couple in Penang thought to be child kidnappers only durian hunting, say police

South-west district police chief Supt AA Anbalagan said the police have closed investigations, putting it down to a misunderstanding after the couple in their 40s stepped forward to explain what transpired yesterday. — AFP file pic
South-west district police chief Supt AA Anbalagan said the police have closed investigations, putting it down to a misunderstanding after the couple in their 40s stepped forward to explain what transpired yesterday. — AFP file pic

GEORGE TOWN, June 18 — The police today clarified that a couple whose faces were circulated on social media on suspicion of attempting to abduct a child were actually just lost visitors looking for one of Penang’s famed hybrid durians, the “khunpoh”.

South-west district police chief Supt AA Anbalagan said the police have closed investigations, putting it down to a misunderstanding after the couple in their 40s stepped forward to explain what transpired yesterday.

“The couple found out they were labelled as suspected kidnappers with pictures of their car being spread on Facebook at about 6.20pm yesterday,” he said, adding that pictures of their car were also taken and shared widely.

They immediately went to the Air Itam police station to lodge a police report denying that they were involved in any kidnapping cases.

“They admitted that they did stop a student by the roadside but that they had only asked for directions to a khunpoh durian farm but the student appeared confused so they drove away,” he said.

He said statements by the couple were consistent with each other and that both do not have any previous records.

The man and woman had stopped a 10-year-old girl, who was cycling to an Islamic religious school, along Jalan Pantai Acheh in Balik Pulau at about 2.50pm yesterday.

They asked the girl for directions to a khunpoh durian farm but she did not know where it was so they immediately drove off.

The girl’s father, who was not far behind, noticed the car stopping next to his daughter and decided to follow the car.

The fisherman tried to stop the car, but after failing to catch up, went to file a police report against the owners of the car based on its plate numbers.

The 38-year-old feared the couple could be kidnappers and asked that the police investigate.

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