8 employees use $116k loot to pay for luxury items

GEORGE TOWN, Malaysia - The eight financial firm employees who stole RM300,000 (S$116,000) from Bank Negara's regional office here have used some of the loot to pay for luxury items and debts.

Penang CID chief Senior Asst Comm Mazlan Kesah said they believed the suspects, including a woman, were keeping some of the money.

"We are trying to recover the rest. We will wrap up investigation tomorrow (today) before submitting it to the deputy public prosecutor's office for action," he said during a policing programme in the south-west district yesterday.

It was earlier reported that the suspects, in their 20s and 30s, were picked up following a police report lodged by the firm's supervisor, who acted on a complaint from the central bank's office in Light Street here.

The company had been appointed by Bank Negara to perform computations of funds at its Penang office.

The central bank detected the missing funds during an internal investigation.

In an unrelated development, SAC Mazlan said police had launched a manhunt for members of the notorious Gang Rantau.

The members, believed to be Indonesians, are suspected to have broken into several houses on jungle fringes in the south-west district.

SAC Mazlan said the gang targeted luxury landed properties with the hills behind them.

"They are usually armed with a knife each, come in a group of three, and would raid the houses in the wee hours.

"We have received at least five police reports this year. We have identified some of them and we are hot on their heels," he said.