KOTA KINABALU - Police have busted three criminal gangs specialising in house break-ins, car hijackings, and robberies involving losses of more than half a million ringgit in separate raids in the city.
A total of 18 people believed to be linked to the three gangs - Geng Samsir, GengBoy and Geng Raqib - have also been detained in the special Ops Cantas Jenayah carried out from November.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said they believe at least 20 criminal cases involving losses of about RM690,000 (S$266,000) around the city would be solved with the arrest of the 18 suspects, including two women aged between 18 and 38.
The police managed to recover about RM620,000 worth of stolen items, including four vehicles, jewellery, pump gun, samurai sword, foreign currency and handphones in the raids.
Off the 18, 10 tested positive for drugs, he said at the police headquarters in Kepayan on Thursday.
Further investigations found that these three groups were not linked to each other and they all had different modus operandi.
Geng Raqib is known for its violent operation methods and most of its victims are women, Hamza said, adding that the gang specialises in break-ins.
Meanwhile, Hamza said they have identified three pawnshops that have business dealings with members of the criminal gangs.
"We will take action against these premises soon," he said.
On other developments, Hamza urged the public not to speculate on the safety of Sabah's east coast and spread rumours about entry of foreign gunmen into the state.
"Don't speculate on this issue. We assure the public that the police are always on alert to prevent such incidents from happening," he said.