KOTA BARU: A total of 99 people in Tanah Merah were arrested by police after they were caught looting three supermarkets between Dec 26 and Dec 28.
State police chief Deputy Comm of Police Datuk Mazlan Lazim said the suspects were caught looting the supermarkets while it was inundated by flood waters.
"We had to use boats to catch the looters and they are from the surrounding flood relief centers.
"In the first case on Dec 26, at about 2pm, the manager of Pantai Timur supermarket in the heart of Tanah Merah had reported to police that the locals had broken into the premises and a boat was dispatched to the area where two boats were found in front of the supermarket,
"My officer found 32 people aged between 14-years-old and 40-years-old looters including a female was busy carrying essentials goods and they were arrested on the spot," he told reporters at a press conference held at the State Police Contingent office here on Wednesday.
DCP Mazlan also said that in the second case on Dec 28, 49 people including two female suspects were arrested in Zon Ria also at Tanah Merah for allegedly looting the supermarket of essentials goods while the third case on Dec 27, at 10am, 19 people were arrested after they broke in a supermarket Executive Aneka and were also arrested.
He said all suspects had been remanded for a week and will be charged under Section 451 of the Penal Code for breaking and entering a premise to steal and is liable to be jailed between two to seven years and a fine if found guilty.
He also warned would be looters that police were on alert to monitor all business premises to safeguard the property of the businessmen and individuals,
"Police will not tolerate those who takes advantage of the situation to steal essential goods and we will take stringent action against them," he said.
DCP Mazlan also assured the public that the situation was under control and police will ensure that their properties were safe from looters during the floods that displaced more than 100,000 flood victims.