Cops smash 'Gang Raqib' and halt its burglary spree in Sabah, five arrested


Plainclothes policemen flanking the three suspects after their arrest in Beaufort.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police have smashed a gang that had committed a streak of burglaries at luxurious houses since the middle of last year with the arrest of five people.

The group known as "Gang Raqib" had gone on a spree of at least 17 house break-ins in seven districts, with the latest case last Saturday (Feb 17).

Among those arrested were the gang leader and two people who bought stolen items from the three gang members.

Sabah Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Senior Asst Comm Azmi Abd Rahim said the suspects were arrested here and in the southwestern Beaufort district at 7am on Monday (Feb 19).

He said they had been on the heels of the gang since last year.

Earlier, he said, they received a report from an individual whose house had been broken into last Saturday, with belongings and valuables amounting to some RM96,000 reported missing.

Acting on information gathered, he said, his men managed to arrest the three gang members two days later at Kampung Kekeru Kota Klias in Beaufort.

The items recovered from the gang.The items recovered from the gang.

"We also recovered items like laptops, cash, mobile phones, a car and a set of keys," said SAC Azmi, when contacted on Tuesday (Feb 20).

They found the suspects aged 33, 37 and 39 were involved in housebreakings in Sandakan, Ranau, Penampang, Putatan, Inanam and Kudat.

Following that, he said, police detained the persons who bought the stolen items, aged 23 and 26, here later the same day.

"The gang would go around posh housing areas and scour which ones they could break into.

"One of them will press the doorbell to see first if anyone was home," said SAC Azmi.

After committing the crime, he added, the gang would then flee and lay low at a house in Beaufort.

He said the gang leader had previous criminal records including drug-related offences and thefts besides housebreaking.

Two of the gang members were locals while the third one was a foreigner without any valid personal documents.

"With the arrests, we believe we have solved a series of break-ins in the Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Sandakan, Ranau, Sipitang and Beaufort districts.

"Efforts are on the way to locate the remnants of this gang," said SAC Azmi, adding the detainees would be remanded until Feb 26 for probe under Section 457 of the Penal Code for breaking into houses to commit burglaries.

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