SIBU: Hotels here have become the hotbed for criminal activities, including drug trafficking, gambling and prostitution.
District police chief ACP Mohd Kamal Kordi at a dialogue with Sarawak Central Region Hotel Association yesterday said he wanted all hotels to help the police combat crime in their premises.
He said they could do this by informing the police if they found any suspcious characters loitering around their premises. He also wanted them to have a proper record of their guests so that it would be easier for the police to track them if they were involved in crime.
“Our statistics for last year show how rampant it (crime) is. From the 29 raids that we have conducted at hotels, 17 successful arrests were made. Drug peddaling, gambling, prostituition, theft and even house-breaking suspects are staying in hotels as their hiding place,” he said.
Other than the 29 raids, the Narcotic Department had also conducted 38 raids on hotels and arrested some suspects.
Kamal said in certain cases, the suspects were locals.
“These locals have their own house here and if they are staying at a hotel for a lengthy period of up to one month, this could easily raise suspicions,” he said.
In response to several matters raised by association chairman Johnny Wong, he said the police had the right to do spot-checks if the situation warranted them.
“In any raids, the police team must be led by at least an inspector and a hotel or its security staff has to accompany us to check on a specific room. We will only force open the room door if the occupant refuses to open it or when it is locked,” he said.
He said hotel staff have the right to ask the police identify themselves so that they would not be dealing with police impersonators.
On the mushrooming of the unlicensed room-for-rent facilities in the town, he said the police could only take action on illegal activities happening there.