A ROBBER hurled curry powder into his victim's eyes and snatched the temporarily blinded man's wallet, which contained US$414 (HK$3,200), the District Court heard yesterday. Mukhtar Ahmed, 26, pleaded guilty to robbing Karoon Kuwang on July 24, 1990. Ahmed had been arrested the same day he committed the crime but he fled the territory while he was on bail. He was re-arrested earlier this year as he arrived in Hong Kong under an assumed identity. Early on July 24, 1990, Mr Kuwang visited the men's toilet at the Middle Road car park in Tsim Sha Tsui. While he was there, someone threw curry powder into his face, causing a burning sensation in his eyes. He then felt somebody tug at his hip pocket and steal his wallet. Mr Kuwang spun round and saw two men running out of the toilet. He sprinted after them shouting 'My wallet!' Ahmed ran straight into the arms of a policeman as he ran towards Middle Road Park. He was searched and police uncovered a plastic bag of curry powder. His accomplice, Ishfaq Ahmed, escaped down Salisbury Road. While Mukhtar Ahmed was inside the Tsim Sha Tsui police station, his accomplice paged him asking him to come to the Kwun Tong McDonald's. But two police officers made the rendezvous in his place and the accomplice was arrested. Some of the stolen money was recovered, with the victim's wallet. Ishfaq Ahmed pleaded guilty to robbery and was convicted in 1990 and sentenced to a training centre. Mukhtar Ahmed was recaptured recently at the airport when Customs officials became suspicious of his fake identity card. 'It was only discovered who he really was when his fingerprints were taken,' said prosecutor Andrew Raffell. The robber had returned to Hong Kong with his wife and family or a holiday. Mr Raffell argued that the defendant should be forced to pay court costs. Mukhtar Ahmed's refusal to inform the prosecution that he intended to plead guilty had led to the Crown wasting thousands of dollars flying a witness out from Thailand, Mr Raffell said. Judge Muttrie adjourned sentencing until June 16, pending background reports.