Wednesday, November 29

Kuching police nab ‘Geng Lan’ members, solve at least 18 cable theft cases


Ahsmon shows the motorcycles and cables that were seized from the suspects. At left is Kuching deputy police chief Supt Merbin Lisa.

KUCHING (Aug 11): Police here have solved at least 18 cable theft cases with the arrest of the leader of ‘Geng Lan’ and two gang members.

A scrapyard dealer, who allegedly bought stolen cables that had already been cut into pieces by the suspects, was also arrested.

“This is a success by a special team from our district police, who started to hunt the suspects beginning Aug 3,” Ahsmon told a press conference at the district headquarters today.

He added that the suspects aged between 19 and 26 were arrested at two different shop lots at Jalan Datuk Abdul Rahim and Jalan Setia Raja.

One of the suspects, he revealed, used to work as a contractor for Telekom Malaysia, which is among the reasons the gang managed to carry out the thefts efficiently.

Ahsmon said the three ‘Geng Lan’ members also tested positive for methamphetamine and have one police record for a drug-related offence and nine records for theft and housebreaking.

“During the arrest, we also managed to seize various tools that were used for cable theft as well as a car and two motorcycles,” he said.

He added police also found four transaction receipts from the fourth suspect, who is the manager of a scrapyard at Jalan Setia Raja, for the cables.

He also revealed the gang has been operating for three months here as well as in other nearby districts.

The investigation showed that the suspects would steal cables from public areas as well as at construction sites, and had caused damages of more than RM200,000 from the 18 cases.

“Cable theft is not only dangerous, but it can also bring a huge impact to the public as the stolen cables are communication cables, which could cause huge disruptions to the whole community,” Ahsmon explained.

The suspects are currently under remand and being investigated under Section 379 of the Penal Code for theft and Section 411 of the same Code for dishonestly receiving stolen property.

Police are also looking at the possibility of charging the suspects under Section 511 of the Penal Code for attempting to commit offences.

Meanwhile, Ahsmon said the police hope the authorities will revoke the licences of scrapyard holders who are in cahoots with criminals.

“We would suggest that their (scrapyard) licences are revoked as by buying stolen cables or items, they are actually encouraging more of such crimes being committed,” he said.

On another note, police are also calling for Mohd Suffian Abdullah, known as ‘Gege’, aged 26, to come forward to assist police with their investigation on the case by calling 082-244444.