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GEORGETOWN – Penang Police believe they have smashed a ‘scratch & win’ syndicate that has cheated unwary people of a total of RM1.5 million.

North East District Police chief ACP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said today the police had arrested 17 people, four of them women, suspected to be members of the syndicate.

Three men were arrested in March and the 14 other people were picked up in a raid on May 18 on a company registered to sell electrical goods that they had used as a front in Jalan Slim here, he told a news conference.

He said the police also recovered payment invoices, scratch & win contest coupons and files containing photographs of various prizes offered by the company.

The police also seized various electrical goods, including home theatre sets, rice cookers, various mobile telephones, computer accessories, water filters and what was claimed to be a jade mattress, he said.

Mior Faridalathrash said more than 30 scratch & win cases of cheating had been reported in the district so far this year.

The victims were usually retirees, who were lured with so-called attractive gifts such as luxury cars, houses and pilgrimage and holiday packages, he said.

The syndicate members usually operated at shopping malls and outside banks and were prepared to tail their would-be ‘clients’ even to the ATM machines for cash withdrawals to be made, he said.

Mior Faridalathrash said the victims were lured into parting with sums of money ranging from RM2,000 to tens of thousands of ringgit, and they would come to realise they had been cheated when they did not get the promised gifts or were given cheaper goods instead.

“Police believe this is the biggest number of arrests so far this year,” he said, adding that the people should be wary of offers of expensive items at low prices. – BERNAMA


KUALA LUMPUR – More people are taking emergency or medical leave this week, although the cause is unlikely to be connected with any illness.

In fact, the police are saying that employees who made “disappearing” acts by calling in sick or pleading domestic distress were trying to avoid being arrested at work during Ops Warta crackdown, an operation which began yesterday.

On a nationwide basis, 251 people have been arrested, while another 239 have presented themselves at the various police stations.

“During our operations today (May 19), the offenders knew we were coming. Most of them were on emergency or medical leave when we visited their work places,” said Bukit Aman traffic chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff.

“Let me tell you one thing, you can hide from us but you can’t run forever.”

He added that police expected a list of excuses from the offenders.

“We have been broadcasting this for two weeks, but some have taken this time to disappear. I advise them to come forward as we will continue to find them one by one,” said SAC Mohd Fuad.

Malaysians prefer to ignore or evade traffic summonses, as only 38,000 or a mere 3% of the 1.59 million summonses were settled, he added.

Johor leads in terms of arrests, with 50, followed by Sarawak (39), Selangor (37), Penang (36), Malacca (24) and Sabah (3).

“Although Ops Warta started today (Tuesday), we still encourage the offenders to come forward and settle their summonses,” he said.

According to Selangor traffic police chief Deputy Supt Azmi Mansor, even employers are in cahoots with the guilty.

“We had one case in Shah Alam, where we visited the office of a man who had 60 summonses totalling RM18,000. We knew he was in the office, but his boss told us he was on MC,” said DSP Azmi, who added that 161 officers were mobilised at 15 roadblocks for the first day of Ops Warta in Selangor.

Speaking to reporters at a roadblock along the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, DSP Azmi said seven motorists were arrested on the spot after they were found to have outstanding summonses.

Shah Alam traffic chief DSP Goh Lee Shen estimated that 4,256 people in his district could be arrested under Ops Warta, which is expected to continue until May 31.

In Johor, a driver in his 30s with 36 summonses was finally arrested. But there are 150,000 traffic offen­ders still roaming free nationwide. – The Star


KUALA LUMPUR: Police have confirmed the video footage of a lava-like phenomenon which purportedly occurred at a Chinese cemetary in Batu Pahat, Johor on Friday and went viral on social media, did not happen here.

Assistant Chief of Inspector-General of Police Secretariat (Corporate Communications) ACP Datin Asmawati Ahmad said investigations done at several Chinese cemeteries in Batu Pahat also failed to confirm such an event.

“This phenomenon actually occurred in the district of Pingtung, Taiwan, where the Wandan volcano spews lava and releases natural gas once or twice a year,” she said in a statement released yesterday.

Asmawati said fires which occurred in areas like the one showed in the video footage was the result of locals burning gas.

She said the police advised the public to avoid spreading such false news because it could lead to negative speculation. – Bernama


KUALA LUMPUR: Out of the 242 persons who have died under police custody since 2000 to February 2014, only two deaths were attributed to the police.

According to the vice-chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) Datuk Dr Khaw Lake Tee at the launch of their 2014 annual report, police statistics shows the number of deaths in police custody increased from 9 to 20 deaths in 2013.

“In Malaysia, the number of deaths in police custody is significantly high and this has become a matter of public concern and scrutiny,” said Suhakam in their report.

“While the police has the duty and responsibility to maintain peace and order, and to arrest any person who has broken the laws, there is also the duty and responsibility to protect the person detained from any harm whether inflicted by himself or others.”

Suhakam says that the police figures indicate that there may be systemic problems in managing and handling detainees in police lock-ups.

The Commission has hence embarked on a study on deaths in police custody titled ‘Deaths in Police Custody’ and a study on ‘Right to Health in Prison’, as a result of the complaints Suhakam has received over the years.

The study focuses not only on the rights and healthcare of detainees under custody but also on the welfare and rights of police personnel directly involved or in contact with the detainees.

“Prisoners generally suffer a disproportionate burden of health problems as their health needs are often neglected,” said the report.

According to the United Nations Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners (1990), it states that “prisoners shall have access to the health services available in the country without discrimination on the grounds of their legal situation”.

“From the observations made by the Commission, there are high levels of mental illness, chronic and communicable diseases, and even disability among prisoners,” said the report.

Therefore, Suhakam takes the view that prison reforms must address the many problems currently affecting the Malaysian prison system, including: Medical/health care in prison, mental health care in prison and prison conditions.

“Given that incarceration is not simply a matter of crime and punishment, but also an issue of public health, the Commission takes the view that the Government, through the Prisons Department, have a responsibility to ensure that prisoners have access to health services that are broadly equivalent to those available in the community,” said the report.

The full report on ‘Death in Police Custody’ and ‘Right to Health in Prison’ is set to be released this year.-The Star


KUALA LUMPUR – The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) confirmed the arrest of three employees of The Malaysian Insider for investigation in connection with a false report published by the news portal recently alleging the Conference of Rulers was against the implementation of hudud.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the three individuals would be investigated by the police and the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) under the Sedition Act 1948.

“PDRM confirmed that three TMI (The Malaysian Insider) staff have been detained for investigation,” he said through his Twitter.

Newsmen nabbed: Morais (left), Zulkifli (middle) and Amin (right) being led out by police from The Malaysian Insider’s office in Mutiara Damansara.

Newsmen nabbed: Morais (left), Zulkifli (middle) and Amin (right) being led out by police from The Malaysian Insider’s office in Mutiara Damansara.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department head SAC Zainuddin Ahmad said the three TMI employees were arrested at their office at Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, at about 5.45 pm.

“The individuals, age between 35 and 52, are investigated under Section 4 (1) of the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said when contacted by Bernama last night.

He said the police and MACC also seized several items, like laptops and handphones, belonging to the employees concerned to facilitate investigation. – Bernama


KUANTAN – A man believed to be a drug addict died while his friend is in serious condition following an attempt to escape from police yesterday.

Pahang deputy police chief Datuk Fatimah Ghazali said prior to the incident at 1 pm, a highway police patrol had intercepted a suspicious car which then sped off towards the Gambang toll plaza.

The vehicle entered the motorcycle lane against the traffic flow until it reached the traffic light at Jalan Kuantan-Segamat where it turned towards Jalan Ladang Felda Lepar Hilir 1, Gambang near here.

Fatimah said the driver lost control of the car which crashed into an oil palm tree before overturning.

She said the impact caused the addict aged 27, to be fatally thrown out of the vehicle while the friend aged 24, sustained serious injuries.

“Police found 785.20 gm of heroin worth RM24,000; 503.54 gm of syabu worth RM80,000; and 3,800 horse pills worth RM95,000 in the vehicle.

“Also seized with the drugs worth a total of RM199,000 were six mobile phones,” she told a media conference at the Pahang police contingent headquarters here today.

Meanwhile, police nabbed another man aged 42, at ‘Pot Getah’ at Kampung Paya Bungor, Gambang here at 6 pm on Tuesday.

Fatimah said an air rifle and drugs worth RM11,840 were found in two bags belonging to the suspect.

“The drugs comprised 470.5 gm of heroin worth RM9,000; 0.7 gm of syabu worth RM280, three horse pills worth RM60 and RM2,500 cash,” she said. – BERNAMA


KUALA LUMPUR – A man who allegedly made a ‘career’ out of breaking into homes for more than two years met his ‘waterloo’ in Cheras last week.

The 37-year-old suspect thought he was safely holed up at his apartment in Taman Bukit Mandarina when the long arm of the law came a-knocking.

Brickfields police chief ACP Azlee Abdullah said the suspect was detained at 1.45pm on March 12.

He said the arrest led to the recovery of stolen items worth about RM500,000 and initial police investigations linked the man to 14 cases of house break-ins in the Klang Valley.

“Among the stolen items recovered were an assortment of jewellery, electrical equipments, lap-tops, watches and break-in tools.

“The suspect has 12 previous criminal records and was active in house break-ins since 2012. His urine tested positive for cannabis,” he said at a press conference here today.

In a related development, Azlee said the police detained a computer shop dealer and gold dealer for buying stolen items from the suspect for sale to ready buyers.

“We are also in the midst of tracking down the suspect’s friend, believed to be his parter in crime,” he added. – BERNAMA



ALOR SETAR – A police corporal was arrested for opening fire and killing a man in Kampung Guar Nenas, Gurun, yesterday.

Kedah CID chief ACP Mohd Nashir Ya said in the incident at 1 pm, the Gurun Police Station received a report of a man lying in a bloodstained shirt in a quarry area in Kampung Guar Nenas.

“It was confirmed that a man with no identity card was lying with bloodstain on his shirt and signs of gunshots. There was an overturned motorcycle beside the victim,” he told in a press conference, here today.

Mohd Nashir said the victim, who was unemployed and aged in his 30′s, was sent to the Sungai Petani Hospital and was confirmed dead with gunshot wounds on his body.

After interrogation, the police corporal aged in his 30′s admitted that he shot the victim as a warning for the victim to stop his motorcycle, he said.

The suspect said a day before the incident, he had lost his motorcycle at the Gurun Rest and Service Area (R&R) and subsequently, he met a shaman (bomoh) to find out who had stolen his motorcycle, Mohd Nashir said.

“The shaman had told the suspect that he could find the person who stole it at an old factory in Guar Nenas area.

“Then, at 11.15 am the suspect drove a car with his wife and mother-in-law and left them at the roadside while he went to search for his motorcycle at the old factory,” he said.

Moments later, the suspect’s wife called him to say there was a man riding a Honda Ex5 in a suspicious manner trying to approach them (his wife and mother-in-law), Mohd Nashir said.

According to the wife, there was a machete, a set of walkie-talkie and a pink phone in the motorcycle basket.

Mohd Nashir said the suspect, who had served more than 10 years in the police force, was worried about his family’s safety and ran back to the car where he saw the victim trying to flee.

“However, the suspect managed to grab the victim’s shirt but the victim succeeded to run towards the main road in Kg. Guar Nenas.

“When the victim tried to speed off with the motorcycle, the suspect took out a pistol and fired a shot at the victim but the victim fled the scene,” he said.

Mohd Nashir said the suspect then went back to his office and handed over his pistol, the same pistol that shot the victim.

However, Mohd Nashir said the victim had nothing to do with the lost motorcycle, the suspect would be remanded beginning today, the police had detained him at 7 pm in Sungai Petani yesterday.

The case was being investigated under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, Mohd Nashir said. – BERNAMA


ALOR SETAR – The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) want the government to view their application to improve their scheme of service including that involving the allowance of personnel working in the interior areas.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim today expressed his confidence the delivery system of PDRM to society would improve if the application for a review of its terms of services was agreed to by the government.

“Among the most important matters involved the review of allowances for policemen serving in the interior with no electricity and water supplies and other facilities,” he told a media conference after opening a conference of internal associations in PDRM here, today.

He said policemen who served in the interior only received an allowance equivalent to 10 per cent of their salary, compared to other public servants who received hardship allowance at a flat rate of RM1,500.

Noor Rashid asked the government to also extend to the policemen the flat rate of RM1,500. – BERNAMA


ALOR SETAR – Police arrested five men believed to be involved in distributing drugs in the district during a raid on an unnumbered house in Kampung Gunung Sali here yesterday.

Kota Setar police chief ACP Adzaman Mohd Jan said during the 1.30 pm raid, police also seized 27 small packets of heroin, weighing a total of 157.5gm and worth RM7,000, from the suspects, aged between 22 and 44 years.

Also found in the house were measuring scale and small plastic bags meant for drug packaging purposes, he told reporters at the Kota Setar police headquarters here today.

He said the suspects were believed to have obtained the drug from Penang and would repack the drug in smaller packets or straw tubes to be sold to drug addicts here at a price of between RM30 and RM45 each.

Adzaman said all the five suspects’ urine were also tested positive of drug and three of them even had previous criminal records related to drugs.

The case is being investigated under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries mandatory death penalty. – BERNAMA