YAN – A gang actively involved in stealing bird’s nests around the district was crippled after five of its members aged between 28 and 48 were arrested at a five-storey building in Kampung Ruat here, on July 1.
Yan District police chief DSP Muhamad Halim Yatim said the police received a tip-off from the public on the presence of a Perodua Myvi car and Honda EX5 motorcycle at the vicinity of the bird’s nest building before raiding the place at 7.25am.
The suspects from the gang known as ‘Geng Walet’ managed to flee, however, they left behind several breaking-in tools and about 700gm of unprocessed bird’s nest in the car.
Thinking they were safe, the suspects later returned to retrieve the stuff left behind, however, they were nabbed by the cops who were still monitoring the premises.
“The modus operandi of the group is to roam around and identify bird’s nest centres which are easy to break into, and far from residential areas, and normally make their move at around dawn using modified tools,” said Muhamad Halim.
The group admitted to having committed two break-ins in Yan and Pendang prior to this, however, the police believed the suspects had broken-into 10 premises involving thefts worth tens of thousands of ringgit since beginning operations two years ago.
“Our investigation also found that the bird’s nests are marketed, among other places, in Penang, and one of the suspects is also a bird’s nest buyer,” he said.
All the suspects who were from Sungai Petani, Kuala Muda, Bukit Mertajam, Penang, and Padang Lembu, Gurun, have been detained for investigations under Section 457 of the Penal Code for house break-ins and thefts, and all of them tested positive for drugs.
“We also seized three backpacks filled with various types of breaking-in equipment, two modified ‘chop’ units (a tool used to retrieve bird’s nests), a machete, a cutter, and about RM1,200 worth of bird’s nests,” he said.
Muhamad Halim also advised bird’s nest entrepreneurs to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and place proper fencing around their premises to avoid being targeted by thieves. – BERNAMA