Israeli 'spy' put under protective custody

KUALA LUMPUR: The Israeli man who was arrested for illegal possession of six firearms has been placed under protective custody by the police, says a source.

This is to prevent anything untoward happening to the suspect now identified as Shalom Avitan.

"The moment he was arrested on March 27, the suspect knew that any plan or mission he had, had failed.

"There is a risk now that he might try to harm or kill himself while in custody," said the source, adding that Avitan could also face reprisal for failing in his mission.

Sources said, in light of the various scenarios, the police were imposing a tight security cordon on the suspect.

"The suspect is currently placed under the custody of KL police but the location cannot be revealed for security reasons.

"Unlike other prisoners, the suspect is deemed high risk and there is an officer and personnel monitoring him around the clock," sources said.

On Saturday (March 31), Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said that a married couple, aged 40 and 42 years old, was arrested at a Ramadan Bazaar in Kuala Selangor on Friday (March 29) for supplying the six pistols to Avitan.

Investigations had led the police to believe that the weapons were obtained from a neighbouring country before they were bought by the Israeli man using cryptocurrency.

The couple were also found in possession of a firearm themselves.

On March 27, Avitan was arrested at a hotel in Jalan Ampang. In his possession were six pistols and 200 bullets.

The pistols included a Sig Sauer, two Glocks and a Smith & Wesson.

The IGP said during interrogation, the suspect told the police that he had come to Malaysia to assassinate a fellow Israeli over a family dispute.

However, police have not ruled out the possibility that Avitan is an Israeli intelligence agent and have heightened security at places of interest and for His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and other dignitaries.

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