Gangsters threaten Miri again

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 26 Apr 2008

MIRI: The gangsters are back and businessmen here are complaining that they are resuming their reign of terror in this resort-city of 300,000.

Businessmen who claim to have been victimised by the gangsters who run extortion syndicates and offer protection services, have appealed to Barisan Nasional Backbenchers’ Club chairman, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, for help even though his office is in Bintulu, 250km south of Miri.

Tiong, who is Bintulu MP, has been inundated with appeals from Miri folk who complained that this oil capital seems to have become the new hideout for gangsters.

Yesterday, Tiong issued a statement urging Miri police to establish the truth of these claims.

After the Ops Cantas Kenyalang operation against gangsters in Sarawak was launched last year (by Bukit Aman and state police in May 2007), there are fears that gangsters and criminals have fled to Miri.

“I have received complaints from residents in Miri about this. Miri residents are afraid because these criminals have started extorting and seeking protection money from businessmen there. I hope the Miri police will investigate,” said Tiong.

Miri Police Chief Asst Comm Jamaluddin Ibrahim said police wanted to nail these gangsters before they can become fully active again.

“Those who have been approached by the gangsters should meet me or my officers immediately. We need detailed and up-to-date information concerning these gangsters.”

When told that victims of these gangsters could be seeking help from Tiong because they were afraid of their safety here, ACP Jamaluddin assured that the identities of informants would be confidential.

He said police would even offer them protection.

Ops Cantas Kenyalang saw the arrest of more than 1,000 gangsters from some 17 major gangster groups in this state, most of whom were from Sibu, Bintulu, Kuching and Miri.

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