Cops raid gang 'recruitment drive' disguised as NGO event at Penang hotel


Under investigation: A group of men believed to be members of a secret society being questioned at the hotel’s restaurant by the police. — Photo courtesy of PDRM Pulau Pinang

BUTTERWORTH: They came from all over Penang, Kedah and Perlis for a so-called NGO event at a posh restaurant in a hotel in Seberang Jaya.

But a police team that raided the location on Saturday night discovered otherwise – the event was actually a gathering to recruit new members for a gang.

State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Senior Asst Comm Rahimi Ra’ais said 40 suspects were nabbed during the joint raid by the state anti-vice, gambling and secret society division and the Central Seberang Prai CID team.

“We raided the place after a public tip-off. The suspects were aged between 22 and 56,” he said in a statement yesterday.

SAC Rahimi said the gathering, held in the restaurant to avoid any suspicion, was actually part of the gang’s plan to re-establish its influence in the three northern states.

“Among those arrested were eight who had secret society tattoos on their bodies. We also seized 56 handphones, two rings, a necklace and a pair of earrings which had a triad gang’s symbol,” he said.

SAC Rahimi said all the suspects were brought to the Central Seberang Prai district police headquarters for further investigation.

“They will be remanded until Dec 1. We will carry out a thorough probe before any further action,” he added.The case is being investigated under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966 which carries a maximum three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine or both, upon conviction.

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