A total of 36 suspected members of a notorious secret society were recently arrested, crippling the group known as Gang 04, Malaysian police said on Monday (Feb 19) .
The nationwide operation dubbed Op Cantas Silver began on Jan 27 and involved suspected members aged between 20 and 60, including one holding the honorific title of Datuk.
Twenty-six were picked up in Perak, Selangor, Malacca and Johor, while the rest were rounded up in Pokok Sena, Kedah, Taiping and Batu Gajah in Perak, as well as Sungai Udang, Melaka.
Perak police chief Hasnan Hassan said the operation was mounted following a series of violent incidents including the murder of a woman with the honorific title of Datin Seri.
The murder occurred in front of a restaurant in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur on Jul 6, 2016. In another case, a man was killed utan Melintang, Bagan Datuk in Perak in November 2016.
“The long-running secret society had been involved in organised crime and other criminal activities involving robbery, extortion, arson and drug trafficking,” Perak’s police chief told a press conference at the state police contingent headquarters in Ipoh on Monday.
He said Bukit Aman’s Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) crime investigation team also froze and seized assets belonging to the group worth RM4.5 million, which covered vehicles, property, jewellery, valuable items, bank accounts and cash.
“The police are in the midst of tracking down 10 members of the group who have fled. Interpol assistance will be sought if the suspects go into hiding abroad,” he added.
According to Hasnan, all the suspects were remanded for 28 days from Jan 27 under Section 4 (5) of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).
The case was also investigated under Section 4 (1) of the Anti Money Laundering Act, Anti Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLATFPUAA) 2001.
Hasnan said the 36 suspects would be charged at the Ipoh Sessions Court on Tuesday under Section 130 V of the Penal Code and Section 130 W of the Penal Code for being members of the group and assisting an organised crime group.