ALOR SETAR: Kedah police have busted a mobile Vietnamese gang which steals valuables by drilling into metal safeboxes at shopping malls, godowns (warehouses), factories and petrol service stations.
The groups was nicknamed Gang Tebuk (Piercing Gang) and were "rampant" in Kedah, though they also hit targets all over peninsular Malaysia.
Kedah CID chief SAC Mior Farid Alatrash Wahid said that the Kedah Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Department together with Kubang Pasu CID launched Ops Tebuk to bust the Vietnamese break-in gang which had been actively involved in dozens of cases of drilling and stealing from safe boxes.
"Five Vietnamese men in a Proton Waja were arrested at about 4.05am at Taman Keladi in Sungai Petani on Monday (2nd July)," said SAC Mior Farid.
"From their car, police found various break-in tools such as kuku kambing (crowbars), grinders of various brands, screw drivers, 70 pieces of grinder blades, four cutters and other tools.
"The youngest suspect is 25-year old, while the rest are in their 30s," he explained.
A special operations called Ops Tebuk was formed as the cases of safe boxes being robbed at shopping malls, godowns and service stations had been "rampant" in a few districts in Kedah since 2017.
In the two years prior to their arrests, police had received 20 reports with the same modus operandi, believed to have been committed by them and other gang members, said SAC Mior Farid.
"They were arrested after they broke into a godown of a ricemill in Kubang Pasu.
"They tied up the security guard of the rice mill before ransacking the office and drilling the safe box, taking away about RM5,000," he explained.
"The guard untied himself and alerted the rice mill owner."
He added that all the suspects had been remanded for four days for further investigations.
"It was believed they also committed a break-in at a supermarket in Baling (Kedah) where they took away RM50,000," said SAC Mior Farid.
Each robbery involved sums of between RM5,000 to RM50,000. The total losses in all the cases comes up to about RM100,000.
The case will be investigated under Section 395 (gang robbery) and Section 397 (armed robbery) of the Penal Code.
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