Police say RM122,000 nasi kandar robbery was staged, two restaurant employees arrested

Coconuts KL

Police have arrested two men in connection with a so-called robbery at a popular nasi kandar restaurant in Penang, which saw the island experience severe gridlock as officers closed down exit points looking for the purported thieves.

However, much to the disappointment of the restaurant owner, the two men who were arrested were actually employees of his, with officers alleging that the duo had actually filed a false report in order to keep the shop’s weekly earnings for themselves. Over RM122,000 (US$30,000) has since been recovered by law enforcement, and the two are now awaiting charges.

Restaurant owner Buruhan Mohamad told local media that one of the men had worked for him for nearly two decades, and that he trusted the worker. The other man implicated in the alleged fake robbery had worked there for four years.

“He even met his wife while she was working with us,” he told English-language daily The Star.

News of widespread traffic disruptions throughout Penang made national headlines as police tried to track down two men who the workers had described as being on motorbike and wearing balaclavas, and who they claimed had intercepted them as they made their way to the bank. In the alleged tall tale, the “robbers” held a knife to one of the men’s stomach, and demanded that he hand over the cash. Police later found the money stashed in a car.

After news broke of the purported fabrication, the wife of one of the men arrested allegedly called Buruhan and asked him to withdraw the police report. However, the restaurant owner explained that he had no part to play in any investigation — it was Penang police who were bringing charges as the two men had filed the report themselves.

“It is for the police to decide,” he concluded.

When asked if this was the first time that the long-term employee had ever given him any grief during his time at the restaurant, Buruhan admitted that it was not the first time the man was involved in what he had claimed was a robbery.

“About a decade ago, the same worker was robbed while sending RM74,000 to the bank,” he said.

“We lodged a police report and since then… we started sending two workers to the bank.”

He later amped up precautions further, also sending a security detail to the bank, but on the day of this week’s “robbery,” the guards were late.

“I have learnt my lesson and, from now on, we will always have security,” he concluded.

So there you have it. 1.) Trust no one, and 2.) There’s a whole lotta money in the nasi kandar racket.

This article, Police say RM122,000 nasi kandar robbery was staged, two restaurant employees arrested, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!