Police squads deployed to curb looting in flood-hit areas

SHAH ALAM: Bukit Aman has deployed 30 teams from the CID’s Cantas squad to curb looting and theft in flooded areas in Selangor, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.

The 120 officers and personnel were sent out after seven cases of looting and theft were reported in the state – four in Shah Alam, two in North Klang and one in South Klang.

“We are aware that there are those who are taking advantage of the floods by looting and stealing. The Cantas teams will ensure that such acts do not happen again,” he told a press conference at the flood operation centre in Taman Sri Muda here yesterday.

Several videoclips have gone viral showing people looting convenience stores. A tow-truck driver has been arrested in suspicion of attempting to steal a vehicle.

Acryl Sani advised the public who have no food or necessities to go to the flood operations centres in their areas.

“The operation centres have sufficient food and supplies. Flood victims, whether they are Malaysians or foreigners, can take what they need,” he added.

Acryl Sani said an investigation will be carried out on allegations that the MERS 999 hotline could not be reached during the floods.

“The hotline is supposed to be accessible at all times,” he added.

He said 68,341 flood victims have been placed at 396 temporary relief centres.

Seven states were hit by floods – Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Kelantan – covered by 30 police districts.

“A total of 37 deaths were recorded while 10 others are still missing,” he added.

On alleged discrepancies on the death statistics among agencies, Acryl Sani said the police’s statistics are based on reports, where each death must be reported according to the Criminal Procedure Code.

He also said the Drainage and Irrigation Department has marked 23 locations where rivers were at the dangerous levels or warnings have been issued over.

A total of 66,015 personnel from various agencies have been deployed at flood-hit areas.

“More than 1,600 boats have been mobilised for rescue missions and to send supplies to victims. More assets will be deployed when the need arises,” he added.

Acryl Sani conceded that coordination among agencies to assist victims should have been better when the floods started on Saturday.

“At that time, the water was at a dangerous level and we found that victims stayed in single or double-storey houses and apartments.

“Relocating victims in other states is easier compared to Shah Alam as it is densely populated.

“At the early stage, we were seen as slow (in responding), but things improved soon after that and we have worked to ensure that all victims are saved and food aid sent out,” he added.

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