Careless parents leave children clueless in Bandar

National 2 minutes, 7 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A WANDERING child was almost run over by a car in an alley near the Bandar Seri Begawan bus terminal yesterday afternoon.

The driver and passersby tried to look for his parents but they were nowhere to be found.

Still reeling under fear and shock from the near-accident, the child, whose age was not disclosed, did not utter a word when he was brought to the police station by the driver to file a report.

When The Brunei Times contacted the Bandar Seri Begawan police station last night, the officer-in-charge said the parents have already picked him up from the police station when they came to file a report.

According to the officer, the parents left the child unattended and he wandered around the capital on his own.

Acting Head of Public Relations Unit Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Hj Mohamad Noor Hj Abd Rahman was surprised to learn about two similar cases happening on two consecutive days.

He said a member of the public also reported a missing child to the police station on Saturday night, after his mother took her eyes off him.

Eyewitnesses said the child was playing with a cat when his mother left him alone.

Viral messages on social media, such as WhatsApp and Facebook, helped to reunite the mother and son within 15 minutes after the report was filed, said the police spokesperson.

The sister of the missing child called to inform her mother of the whereabouts of her brother after receiving one of the messages.

Both children were seen wandering alone at Lorong Bebatik behind the bus terminal.

A witness, who was in the area during these two incidents, claimed that there were people “kidnapping” children in the area.

However, the acting head quashed the rumours, adding that they “rarely receive cases of missing children”.

“We have no reason to believe there is a smuggling ring in Brunei, we rarely get any reports of missing children, there would have been more frequent reports if they exist,” he added.

A police officer at the Bandar Seri Begawan police station said, “it is only when there are big celebrations in the capital that we receive a lot of reports of missing children”.

ASP Hj Mohammad Noor added that kidnapping is a serious offence and carries a heavy punishment. He added that the police will carry out investigations if they suspect people are involved in kidnapping.

The acting head advised parents to always remain vigilant and keep an eye on their children, especially during the school holiday period.

The Brunei Times