KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 -- Three of among the country's largest organised crime syndicates suspected of being involved in the smuggling of migrants and robberies have been crippled following the arrest of 111 gang members.
Also arrested were the leaders of the three groups known as the Otong Gang, Halim Gang and Husen Maungdaw Gang.
The Otong Gang is headed by an Indonesian and is active in Johor, while the Halim Gang, led by a local, is active in Perak, and an ethnic Rohingyan leads the Husen Maungdaw Gang, active in Penang.
Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Huzir Mohamed during a press conference here today said the Otong Gang was found to be actively smuggling migrants since 2014.
"The gang is led by an Indonesian man known as Otong, and has an estimated membership of about 57 individuals and is active in smuggling migrants on the east coast of Johor," he said without disclosing details of the operation leading to the arrests.
Huzir said the Halim Gang, which had about 13 members, was found to be actively smuggling migrants in waters off Hutan Melintang, Perak, since 2017.
“The Husen Maungdaw Gang has been active in the northern waters of the Peninsula and Penang, involved in migrant smuggling and robberies since 2014. It is led by a Rohingya man known as 'Husen Maungdaw with a membership of about 19 people,” he said, adding that a majority of them were from the same ethnic group.
According to Huzir, leaders and members of the gangs had been arrested several times, with some even charged in court, however, the groups continued to remain active.
"Their gang memberships had also been on the rise, and the crimes committed were also more serious," he said, adding that the CIDs from Johor, Perak, and Penang had launched concurrent operations against the three gangs from June 4 to 20.
Huzir said all those arrested were aged between 28 and 68, while the seizures, estimated to be worth about RM1.5 million, included 29 mobile phones, a fishing boat, two speedboats, five cars, two motorcycles, and RM1,500 in cash.
Huzir said all the confiscated items were believed to have been used in smuggling operations and police were currently in pursuit of eight remaining members of the groups, namely two from the Otong Gang; Halim Gang (four) and Husen Maungdaw Gang (two).
“Members of the groups will also be investigated under Section 4 (1) of Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
"With strong enforcement, police believe they can eliminate the security threat posed by organised crime syndicates," he added.
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