KOTA KINABALU: It’s not only the illegal bike racers the police can detain for offences such as betting and drug abuse. The police can detain spectators too.
Kota Kinabalu police chief Assist Comm M. Chandra said the illegal racers got excited and more daring whenever there was a crowd watching their stunts.
“Therefore, apart from arresting those directly involved, the police are also going all out on the spectators,” he said.
He warned that the spectators were “seizable offenders”, which means the police were allowed to arrest them without warrants.
“They can be investigated for offences such as betting, drug abuse and so on,” ACP Chandra pointed out.
He added that based on their two-month operations, the police suspected that many of the mat rempit used stolen motorcycles.
He said reports of motorcycle thefts increased from 183 cases between January and Sept 16 last year to 243 so far this year.
He said that 90% were Honda EX5 bikes, the favoured machine among the mat rempit because it suited their stunts like the “wheely” (riding with the front wheel lifted off the ground).
“Since January, the police have arrested 64 suspects and seized 29 motorcycles,” ACP Chandra said.
In their operations against illegal bikers between midnight and 7.30pm from Sept 14 to Sept 16, police nabbed two immigrants, aged 13 and 26, and four local men aged 19 to 35 years, he said, adding that the motorcycles seized from them bore fake number plates.
“One of the suspects was caught doing the wheely near Likas, not far from the state capital,” ACP Chandra said.
He added that 62 vehicles, including eight cars, were seized during police operations in August and this month.