Some 36,000 suspected criminals have been arrested, says Malaysian minister

Some 36,000 suspected criminals have been arrested, says Malaysian minister

PUTRAJAYA - More than a million people have been screened by the police for violent crimes under Ops Cantas Khas since the crackdown started some four months ago.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said of the 1.11 million suspects who were interrogated from Aug 17 to Dec 3, some 36,725 were arrested.

The police also confiscated 1,080 pieces of firearms and dangerous weapons, as well as 1,559 vehicles, he said.

"There is no deadline for the Ops Cantas. It is an open-ended operation. It will continue until all the gangsters are arrested, (and) for as long as the rakyat are not satisfied with the crime index," Dr Ahmad Zahid said at the ministry's monthly gathering.

Ops Cantas Khas is being launched in phases to cripple the underworld following a spate of shootings in the country, which is believed to be related to turf war among gangs and linked to illegal activities such as drug trafficking and extortion.

The operation was targeted at tracking and seizing weapons, especially guns, from gang members.

Responding to the fatal killing of a bank officer by a security guard who held a fake identity card recently, Dr Ahmad Zahid said the National Registration Department had ins­pected some 600 security firms to verify the identity of the guards.

He said the ministry was investigating all 125 security firms licensed to operate firearms in a move to identify those that had breached their contract requirements.

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