MIRI: There are local gangster groups active in Sarawak’s biggest urban centres like Kuching, Sibu and Miri.
Sibu, in central Sarawak, had the most number of gangs, said Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director CP Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh.
Local gangs in Sarawak, he added, were involved in armed robberies, extortions and drugs but there were no indications that the gangs were controlled by politicians or foreign-link groups.
“There are 16 gangs in Sarawak with members numbering not more than 1,000 and most of them are made up of locals.
“We know their identities, activities and will act when the time is right.
“On the whole, the issue here is being contained but we are on the watchout at all times to make sure that gangsterism will not spread here.”
He added that by large, Sarawak was still very peaceful and gangsterism activities had not threatened the safety or security of the state.
“On the national front, we have already declared 46 organisations as illegal because they were found to be involved in gangster activities and we are investigating another 23 more groups suspected of indulging in gangsterism,” he added.
Mohmad said that Bukit Aman appreciated the fact that Sarawak was still very peaceful and safe.
Speaking at a national-level CID chief meeting here at a local hotel, Mohamad said the crime rate in Sarawak had decreased by 8% compared with the same period last year.
He added that his department brought CID chiefs throughout the country to Miri for a monthly meeting to familiarise them with the city.
“We want our people to know more about Sarawak and the beauty of this state and this is a chance for them to come and visit,” he said.
During their two-day visit and meeting, the heads of CID were brought to visit various places of interest.