Priceless Malaysian museum artifacts stolen
( dpa ) - Fourteen artifacts estimated to be worth millions of ringgit were stolen from the Malaysian Historic and Ethnography museum in the central state Malacca, news reports said Sunday.
Priceless weapons comprising eleven traditional Malay daggers from the Malay sultanate and three pistols from the Portuguese era were believed to have been removed from the glass display cases in a pre-dawn heist Saturday.
Police believe professionals were involved in the heist as none of the display cases were broken or removed, state police chief Johari Yahya was quoted as saying by the News Straits Times daily.
"We have asked the (federal) forensic unit to assist us," said Johari.
According to the acting state Museum Board general manager Khamis Abas, the museum curator, upon being alerted by a staff member who found papers strewn all over the floor, discovered the items missing when he went to check the display area and immediately lodged a police report.
"We are still in a state of shock and puzzled as to how the items were stolen," said Khamis, adding that the museum is guarded by three security personnel after the museum closes.
Khamis said the museum officials will be looking into the records of the stolen items to determine the exact value.