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Malaysia hunting for more suspects after arresting Israeli with guns

By AFP

April 2, 2024 03:37 PM


Representational image

Malaysia's security forces have launched a manhunt for more suspects after arresting an Israeli man caught with six handguns and 200 bullets, police said Tuesday.

"We are looking for more than two people and it includes both locals and foreigners," police inspector-general Razarudin Husain told reporters.

The Israeli man, identified by police as Shalom Avitan, was arrested on March 27 at a hotel in the capital Kuala Lumpur following a tip-off.

Police said Avitan arrived from the United Arab Emirates on March 12 with a French travel document.

After his arrest, he told authorities he had come to Malaysia to look for another Israeli due to a family dispute.

Some media reports have claimed he was connected to a crime syndicate.

"Police are investigating all angles including whether he is a spy. We want to know his motive of coming to Malaysia and having six handguns," Razarudin said, adding that security has been bolstered for the country's leaders.

The guns and bullets were bought from an unemployed Malaysian couple who obtained them from neighbouring Thailand, according to Razarudin.

The couple and another Malaysian have been arrested.

Muslim-majority Malaysia has no diplomatic relations with Israel and has long supported Palestinian statehood.

There are about 600 Palestinian refugees in the country, according to the UN refugee agency.

In 2018, a Palestinian scientist was shot dead by attackers on a motorbike as he walked to a Kuala Lumpur mosque for dawn prayers.

Family and friends of the scientists accused Israel's Mossad spy agency of carrying out the killing but Israel denied the claims.


AFP


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