KOTA BHARU: The police had to fire a shot at the tyre of a Proton Iswara because the driver tried to endanger the lives of policemen who were tailing the vehicle suspected of smuggling 22 plastic drums of petrol in Kampung Pulau Ular Post Office, Pengkalan Kubor, here, yesterday.

Tumpat district police chief ACP Mohd Khairi Shafie said General Operations Force personnel were patrolling the area around 7.10 am and saw a car in a suspicious manner before giving chase to stop the vehicle.

As a result, the suspect stopped on the shoulder of the road in an open area near the post and suddenly the suspect reversed the vehicle towards the members who got off the motorcycles to approach him for inspection.

“Policemen who were surprised by the suspect’s actions managed to dodge and then fired a shot to stop him and minimise the threat to the lives of the policemen on duty.

“However, the suspect continued driving and fled before the vehicle was found abandoned one kilometre from the scene,“ he said in a statement today.

Mohd Khairi said efforts to track down the suspect had been made it was believed that he had fled towards a nearby bush area.

He said all the 22 plastic drums containing petrol were confiscated and they were believed to be smuggled to a neighbouring country.

“The vehicle and the drums of petrol were taken to Komtek Kuala Jambu for further action while the case was investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code for attempted murder.

“The police also found a pair of black gloves on the footrest of the driver’s seat and lifted three fingerprints on the front passenger mirror of the vehicle, in addition to a gunshot mark on the rear tyre rim,“ he said.

According to him, preliminary investigations confirmed that the original owner of the vehicle was in Johor and efforts to trace and arrest the individual were underway.