PENANG: Police have arrested seven men, ending a reign of terror by the group who plundered, raped and murdered several foreigners over recent months.
The suspects, in their 20s and 30s, were rounded up from their homes in Bukit Mertajam over the past nine days by a team led by state Deputy CID chief Supt Razali Basri.
The group was said to have been responsible for the brutal murder of at least four foreigners as well as the rape of a 23-year-old Vietnamese woman and numerous robberies.
State CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said police investigations found that the group always targeted foreigners – usually illegal immigrants – because they were confident their victims would not lodge police reports.
Among their victims was a 27-year-old Vietnamese man, identified as Nguen Ngog Tuan, who was beaten to death in Permatang Tinggi on Aug 15. Three men also gang-raped his girlfriend.
In that incident, the couple were waiting at a bus stop at 10pm when a motorist offered them a ride.
“On the way, the driver picked up two other men, and then drove around Bukit Mertajam before stopping at a deserted place.
“The three men then beat up the man with iron rods and wooden clubs and stole his wallet.
“His girlfriend was taken to a nearby hut and repeatedly raped,” SAC Syed Ismail said yesterday.
He said the gang was also behind the murder of another Vietnamese man, who was stabbed 12 times, and dumped in a monsoon drain at the Bukit Minyak Industrial Estate early this month.
“The man, who was stabbed in the chest, abdomen and back, had been dead for at least four days before his body was found on Sept 3.
“The victim was identified by his 22-year-old girlfriend at the district hospital mortuary a few days later,” he said.
SAC Syed Ismail said the gang, who worked in groups of three and four, had also stabbed a 29-year-old Indonesian man to death during an attempted robbery at a duck farm in Permatang Tinggi on Aug 26.
The deceased's friend was also injured in the incident.