Criminal gangs now charging cheaper recruitment fees

JOHOR BARU: The payment of RM2.10 or RM3.60 to join a secret society is a sign of how the gangster world has changed into a much simpler form compared to the old days, where an elaborate initiation ceremony was required.

Johor police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the police were also not ruling out the possibility of charging a low membership fee as a way for secret societies to entice youth.

“Youth, especially teenagers, are easy targets as they are seen as a blank canvas that can be moulded and influenced to think that joining a group would protect them when they are in trouble.

“In reality, the group would only take advantage of these youths and the low payment is one of the terms of their initiation, ” he said.

Comm Ayob said this following a special report published by Kosmo! last Sunday quoting him as saying that secret societies had changed their method of recruiting members to a symbolic payment based on their gang name.

“For example, if the gang is called Geng 21, the new recruit would have to pay RM2.10 or RM21. If the gang is called Geng 36, the payment is RM3.60.

“In the past, an initiation process called the triad ceremony would be held secretly in an oil palm plantation or jungle to avoid being detected by police, ” he said, adding that it would take up to four hours for a member to finish their “oath”.

These days, he said, one would only need to give their name and payment to be initiated.“The recruit can rise in the ranks if they receive recognition from the older members, are active and contribute to the group, aside from being involved and recruiting more new members, ” he added.

In Johor, the police had identified 1,379 individuals who are members of secret societies.

“The police are continuously monitoring secret societies.

“Any gang member arrested will be held under the Prevention of Crime Act, ” Comm Ayob said, adding that the police managed to arrest eight Geng 21 members, including the leaders, recently.

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