A 34-year-old illegal Indonesian immigrant was arrested on Friday evening after throwing a chilli-based liquid on a 44-year-old woman and her nephew during an attempted robbery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The attempted robbery took place at about 7:00pm in a mall carpark in Taman Maluri in Cheras district, the China Press reported.

The victim, an ethnic Chinese, and her young nephew were getting in their car when the woman appeared and poured the irritating, scalding solution full of chilli seeds onto the pair, causing them pain and their skin to go red.

The pair sought help from another driver, who took them to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre Hospital, where they were diagnosed with first-degree burns.

The woman tried to flee with the Chinese woman’s handbag, but was subdued by a policeman patrolling the area and who witnessed the incident.

A preliminary police investigation found that the woman was also suspected of being involved in a similar attempted robbery earlier on the same day during which a pregnant shopper was targeted, according to the mall’s security CCTV footage.

The woman, who had no valid document to stay in the country, was arrested and remanded for 14 days under Section 393 of the Penal Code and the Immigration Act 1963.