16 total arrests so far in Israeli 'spy' probe, says IGP

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 16 individuals have been detained in connection with the arrest of Israeli man Shalom Avitan and the seizure of six pistols at a hotel in Jalan Ampang so far.

In the latest development, police detained 12 other individuals after investigating 38-year-old Avitan, a local married couple aged 42 and 40 who sold the pistols to Avitan and another man who was Avitan's driver.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain said the 12 were detained in raids conducted by a team from Bukit Aman CID, KL police and the Special Branch.

"The latest suspects were detained at various premises in Johor and Kuala Lumpur, based on intelligence gathered and information from the public. An Investigation by the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) also contributed to the successful arrests as some of the suspects dealt in cryptocurrency," he said when contacted on Friday (April 5).

The local married couple detained for selling the six pistols to Avitan had their remand extended for seven days, Razarudin said.

"After detaining Avitan and three other local suspects, the police detained four men and two women aged 25 to 41.

"Further investigation led police to detain six other individuals: two Turkish nationals aged 29 and 40; a Georgian man, 39; and three locals aged between 32 and 60.

"Some started their remand on Thursday, while others began today.

"All of them were remanded for seven days," he said.

The investigation to uncover the motive and real reason behind Avitan coming to the country and acquiring six pistols is still ongoing, the IGP said.

"We are in the midst of completing the investigation with the focus of uncovering the motive," he said.

It was reported that the police are looking to uncover the real reason why suspected Israeli spy Avitan came to the country.

The IGP had said police are taking into account the fact he had entered Malaysia during Ramadan and could have been planning an attack during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festive period.

“The suspect gave an excuse that he wanted to hunt down a leader of a rival crime family, but we cannot easily accept this reason.

“As I have pointed out, the suspect could be a threat to our leaders, foreign diplomats and even leaders from Hamas," he said.

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Israeli , Shalom Avitan , Arrest , Razarudin Husain , IGP


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