Cops arrest ringleader of dangerous Indon gang


Wednesday May 16, 2007

Cops arrest ringleader of dangerous Indon gang

MIRI: Police have arrested the suspected ringleader of a notorious Indonesian gang which has been terrorising rural folk in the Batu Niah district in northern Sarawak.

The middle-aged suspect was nabbed during a raid by CID personnel from here on Monday.

The gang members are believed to be armed with shotguns and sharp weapons. They are suspected to be behind a series of armed robberies in rural settlements and in Batu Niah town, some 120km south of here.

Miri police chief Asst Comm Abang Abdillah Abang Othman confirmed the arrest yesterday.

We are now looking for those believed to be involved with this man. We are hot on the heels of two men said to be his close allies.

They are Indonesians. They had come to Sarawak, possibly to work in the Batu Niah area. They are said to be involved in a number of robberies in that district, he said.

A team of heavily-armed police officers from the Miri Central Police Station rushed to Batu Niah following a tip-off on suspicious activities in a house near the town.

They went to the house and cornered the suspect. Police are still conducting investigations in the area. They believe that the man’s accomplices might have escaped into a rural plantation in the district.

Villagers and longhouse residents as well as the townsfolk had been living in fear of the armed robbers who had targeted mini markets, shops and homes in the past few months.

Police are trying to find out if this gang was also involved in highway robberies and hijackings on the Miri-Bintulu routes.