GEORGE TOWN: The manhunt continues for the remaining 111 barefooted Rohingya detainees who include children who escaped the Sri Impian Immigration depot in Relau in Bandar Baharu, Kedah.
“As of 2pm today (April 21), 111 of them are still at large,” said Penang police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain.
"We caught 28 of them yesterday (April 20), and another two more this morning at 10am.
"They were all men and not aggressive when approached.
"We are unsure how many more the Kedah and Perak police or Immigration Department has managed to round up but as of 2pm, these are the statistics we have been given.
"We will continue to search for them and I believe they must be tired, as they are barefooted and must be hungry.
"I believe they are still in Penang and are in the Seberang Prai Selatan area.
"They have no food and do not know where to go," he said during a press conference held at the police headquarters in Penang Road on Thursday (April 21).
He said if they do venture further, the Perak police will take over and handle the matter.
He said air surveillance will be used to enhance the search for the remaining detainees.
"I urge the public not to take action on their own if they happened to see the detainees.
"We do urge people to give us updates if you do locate any of them," he said.
On the driver who knocked and killed six of the detainees, Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the driver has given his statement and the case is being investigated.
"That is not a place to cross the road and locals did tell them not to do so.
"It was early in the morning and there are no witnesses to say that the driver was speeding.
"He was sober and was shocked about the incident," he said.
Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the six who died included two teenage girls, two men aged 36 and 20, a nine-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl.
"There were two others who sustained minor injuries and are receiving treatment," he said.
On Wednesday (April 20) morning, a total of 528 Rohingya detainees escaped from the Relau immigration depot in Bandar Baharu - on the border between Kedah and Penang - at 4.30am.
This was followed by a protest that quickly turned into a riot at the depot.
Six of them died while crossing the road at KM165 of the North-South Expressway, in Jawi at 6.50am.
It is understood that most of the Rohingya there were previously detained in operations by various agencies in Langkawi.