BATU NIAH: Robbers and hijackers are making a comeback along the 220km-long Sarawak Second Coastal Highway between Miri and Bintulu once dubbed the “Highway of Fear”.
Yesterday, a truck laden with a few hundred thousand ringgit worth of oil palm harvests and fertilisers was hijacked near Batu Niah, some 120km south of Miri, by a gang of robbers, believed to be foreigners.
The robbers had forced the driver to stop after overtaking the truck with their van, pulled him out of the vehicle, bashed him up, then left him on the highway before driving off with the cargo.
The driver, who sustained bruises and minor wounds, lodged a report at the Batu Niah police station. It was learnt that the robbers had used a van with a foreign licence plate.
This was the second such incident along the highway over the past month after a lull of almost a year.
Last year, a series of similar robberies occurred on the highway, causing fear and panic among commuters, before the Sarawak police deployed daily patrols along the stretch.
However, there are many forested parts and roads leading into oil palm estates that are difficult to monitor from the highway.
In another case in Miri, a young businessman lodged a police report claiming that he lost RM58,000 to robbers after withdrawing the money from a bank.
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