Over 40,000 in 49 gangs involved in firearms, murder, drugs and extortion

PUTRAJAYA - Some 40,313 people have been identified as members of 49 organisations, mostly triads, that have been declared illegal.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Radzi said that the main activities for some of these organisations (not all) included drug distribution, extortion, and use of firearms to carry out murders.

He said these organisations have violated the law under Section 5 (1) of the Societies Act 1966 on the date of the gazette, which took effect yesterday (Aug 28).

Among other implications, the gazette also meant that all assets belonging to these organisations would be surrendered to the Insolvency Department and that those found using the names, symbols or premises, or identifying themselves as members of any of the 49 organisations would be arrested.

Here are some of the statistics and profiles of the gangs that were listed by the Home Ministry.

Total number of gang members nationwide: 40,313

Malay: 1,923

Chinese: 8,214

Indian: 28,926

Sabah: 329

Sarawak: 921

Gangs by race

Malay: Double 7, Tiga Line, Geng 30

Chinese: Geng 24, Geng 18, Geng 36, Geng 21, Ang Soon Thong, Wah Kee, Sio Sam Ong, PNEH, Hong Hong San, Hai San, Sin Ang Bin, New Cell 20, Jit It Hai, Sio Koon Tong, Gee Lam Kor, Gee Ah Eng, Loh Kuan, Tiang Yee Tong, Geng Leng Hor Indian: Geng 04, Geng 08, Geng 21, Geng 24, Geng 18, Geng 35, Geng 36, Geng 303, Geng Satu Hati

Gang 04

Number of members: 5,440

Criminal activities: Smuggling drugs, extortion, vehicle repossession, criminal activity using firearms or dangerous objects Gang 04 was previously known as Hua Kee in the 1980s. After it was taken over by the Indian members, they changed the gang's name and the crime scope was drug dealing, murder, extortion and robbery. They are active in Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang and Kedah. It is believed that Gang 04 has no centralised leadership and operates on a localised grassroots basis. Recently, five of its members were shot dead in a police raid.

Gang 08

Number of members: 4,423

This gang was founded in the 70s. The gang members are in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Perak, Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca. Their activities include drug dealing, collecting protection money and robbery. There is no central leadership for the gang.

Double 7

Number of members: 1,053

Formed eight years ago, majority of the gang members are Malays with businesses in F&B and entertainment sector. The group is active in Peninsular Malaysia.

Tiga Line

Number of members: 729 T

he group identify themselves with the colours green, yellow and red, inspired by the Rastafari movement in Jamaica. They are active in 20 areas located in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kedah and Perak.

Geng 24

Number of members:758

Geng 24 is active in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Perak and Johor.

Gang 18

Number of members: 1,209 This gang is originated from traditional Chinese organised crime organisations. Active in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Johor, they are responsible for many of the drug dealings in the country.

Gang 36

Number of members: 8,512

It is active in Peninsular Malaysia and mostly made of Indian members. The number "36" signifies Triads 6. It is an offshoot of the long existing Chinese triad Hung Meng Hooi. There are a number of Chinese members in Gang 36 but most of them are financial backers involved in real estate and other legal businesses. Gang 36 became active in the 70s and is said to be one of the two gangs responsible for most of the drug dealings in the country. The other is Gang 18.

Geng 21

Number of members: 2,357

Active in Peninsular Malaysia.

Ang Soon Thong

It's a secret society based in Singapore and Malaysia. Active since the 50s, the gang was mainly in Sembawang, Singapore. In 1998, a 19-year old youth was arrested for setting up a website dedicated to the society. In 2008, an Ang Soon Tong member was sentenced to reformative probation over a clash with members of another secret society.

Wah Kee

A secret society based in Malaysia and Singapore, and started in the 19th century. Su Guang Hua created the secret society in Singapore while Zhao Guang Heng created Guang Kee in Guangzhou, China. Guan Fu Sheng created Sheng Kee in Thailand, and Zhang Xiong Jie created Jie Kee in Vietnam. In the 1950s, they operated openly in the area around Bentong.

In recent times, they are mainly in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Penang, Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, and Sarawak. In Singapore, Wah Kee is mainly concentrated in the China Town area. The triad also has branches in Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, United States, Canada and New Zealand. The Philippine Centre on Transnational Crime has stated that while the Wah Kee do not operate as a traditional triad per se, they are heavily involved in heroin trafficking in the region.

Sio Sam Ong

Literally means "Three Little Emperors." It's a leading Chinese triad in Malaysia, with a strong presence in the northern states of the peninsula. Based in Penang, it's widely considered to be one of the most powerful triads in the country. Like its counterparts in Singapore and Taiwan, the Sio Sam Ong mostly consists of the ethnic Hokkien group.

The group was believed to be established in the 1940s. According to the Malaysian police, Sio Sam Ong is currently one of the most active triads in Penang and is believed to be actively involved in politics. The gang was into international drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, extortion, racketeering, and loan sharking It gained notoriety with the slaying of six people in Taman Bersatu, Sungai Petani, in Sept 1992 . The members were involved in at least 10 murders in the state in the late 80s and early 90s.

There were five members executed for betraying the triad, the remains were exhumed from unmarked graves in Mount Erskine, Penang. Many of its top members are still high on the police wanted list. Sio Sam Ong is one of the offshoots of the Ang Bin Hoay (Society of the Ang People) triad. Ang Bin Hoay is the Hokkien pronunciation of Hung Meng Hooi, whose origins can be traced back to the beginnings of the Qing dynasty.

Hai San

Hai San originated from Southern China and is a Penang-based Chinese secret society established in 1820. In 1825 it was led by Low Ah Chong and with Ho Ah Kow as its titular head. At that time the society's headquarters was located at Beach Street.

The society started out mostly with Cantonese and pro-Ghee Hin members but by1854 they were absorbed by the Wah Sang society and become almost exclusively Hakka and anti-Ghee Hin.

The Hai San figures prominently in the Larut Wars of 1862-1873 and that headed time by Chung Keng Quee. At Larut, miners who were members of the Hai San society fought with miners who were members of the Ghee Hin society over the tin-rich fields of Kelian Pauh and Kelian Baru. The two warring factions also clashed in Selangor. Hai San allied with the Penang-based Tokong or Tua Peh Kong society, members of whom financed the mining of tin in the Larut area. The warfare between the Hai San and Ghee Hin brought tin mine production to a standstill. The fighting between the two societies was brought to an end with the signing of a treaty between the two parties in 1874, known as The Chinese Engagement.