Three of Sarawak’s most notorious gangsters held

KUALA LUMPUR: Three of Sarawak’s most notorious gangsters, who have been terrorising businessmen and smallholders, have been arrested in a massive second wave operation code-named Ops Cantas Kenyalang.

The three, who are allegedly involved in illegal logging, extortion, rubber and diesel price-fixing and had been on the run since the first wave of operations, were picked up near and at the Malaysia-Brunei border near Miri by a special task force.

Two were arrested on April 8 in Sibu while the other, who is said to be the leader of one of the 17 biggest gangster groups in Sarawak, was arrested at the Sungai Tujuh Immigration checkpoint on Friday.

All three were arrested following investigations involving officers from Bukit Aman, Miri and Sibu, and Brunei police.

Sources said Malaysian and Brunei police have been jointly monitoring the activities of the gang leaders as they are said to have interests in both countries.

The sources said all three were arrested under the Emergency Ordinance and that police were stepping up their operations against gangsters who were said to be re-establishing their reign of terror.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan confirmed that police had launched their second wave of operations in Sarawak following the re-emergence of gangsters.

He said police were also investigating if any of those “back in action” had been banished or placed under restricted residence.

Last week, several businessmen complained to Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who is Bintulu MP, that gangs running protection-money syndicates and extortion were threatening businessmen again in Miri.

Tiong expressed concern that these gangsters might be trying to establish Miri as their new “hub” in the state after their hubs in Sibu, Kuching and Bintulu were busted last year.

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