(Business Insider last year reported that 20 out of the top 50 dangerous cities lies in Latin America and that itself speaks for the level of criminals from that region. If left unchecked and the severity of the issue is taken for granted, this country will be overrun by them and Malaysia would end up as one of the dangerous places to be in. Image source: http://visual.ly)
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KUALA LUMPUR: Police have identified the gangs involved in the recent string of ATM break-ins here – and one of them is said to be a group of Latin Americans. City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah said police had identified more than three groups as being involved in cases reported in Kuala Lumpur so far this year.
“We know how many gangs are involved but none has been arrested yet,” he said at the city police headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah yesterday. “Some of the gangs are also involved in house break-ins.”
SAC Ku said police had identified two different modus operandi for the gangs. “One group would attempt to pull the machine using chains fastened to a truck. The other modus operandi is cutting through the machines using oxy-acetylene torches,” he added.
On July 6, robbers failed to break into a cash deposit machine at a bank in Jalan Chow Kit here – the fourth such case in the Klang Valley in just four days. Three ATMs were hit on the same day in Cheras, Puchong and Kepong on July 3.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is being “promoted” as a choice destination for Latin Americans but for sinister reasons. Criminals who came here from the Latin America regions where Spanish and Portuguese are primarily spoken are said to be returning home to spread the word that breaking into Malaysian homes is easy.
“They go back and tell their friends that there is easy money in Malaysia,” city CID chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah said at a press conference yesterday.
He said the criminals entered the country with forged documents and conveniently “lost” them later. “When arrested, they say they have no documents and clamp up on the pretext of not knowing English. We have to get the help of a translator to question them.”
SAC Ku said last week, the city police nabbed four Latin Americans, believed to be from Colombia, in connection with several house break-ins in the capital. The four men, aged between 19 and 28, were arrested at a condominium in Taman Desa following a tip-off from residents on Oct 19.
Police recovered laptops, cameras, branded handbags, watches and four fake firearms. SAC Ku said the police were on the lookout for other gang members who are still at large.
The police are tracing a Latin American woman suspected of being involved in a robbery attempt in which two of her countrymen were detained at Jalan Ampang, last Friday.
Kuala Lumpur CID chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah said the woman, in her 30s, was wanted in connection with an attempt to rob a man who had just withdrawn RM30,000 from a bank about 3.30pm on June 14.
“The victim had been approached by two men in an Alphard multi-purpose vehicle on the pretext of helping him with a flat tyre. They then tried to grab his bag containing the cash.
“The suspects were nabbed by a police patrol team which happened to be at the scene. But the woman, who was driving the Alphard, sped off when she saw her friends being caught,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Latin Americans appear to have taken over from Nigerians as the biggest foreign scammers in Malaysia. Besides theft and robbery, they are also becoming notorious for cheating people through trickery and impersonation. They are usually dressed smartly and move around in groups of more than three in flashy rented cars.
Kuala Lumpur police CID chief SAC Datuk Ku Chin Wah said today that police were unable to ascertain which countries they are from as they are believed to carry fake passports.
He said they were behind the cases of automated teller machine thefts and several high-profile crimes such as the theft of medical endoscopy equipment worth more than RM4.5 million that was stolen from the University Malaya Medical Centre and two private hospitals here and in Kajang in June last year.
“We are questioning them to find out more about their shady activities here. But often there is a language barrier as these foreigners claim they do not speak English.”
Before anyone can claim that this blog is “unfairly prejudice” against foreign criminals, let’s state the obvious fact – Malaysians (from all races and not limited to a few Indian youths) still top the list when it comes to committing the crime in this country. And it has been a never-ending cat & mouse game between the authorities and these criminals (sometimes we do score the big one).
It remains a big headache for the country and hopefully, the new laws replacing the repealed Emergency Ordinance (some claimed had caused some 2,000 EO detainees to go scot-free) will be used effectively to curtail the criminals and their criminal activities. And whilst there is no doubt that the bulk of the blame on the rising crime falls on the locals, we cannot eliminate foreign criminals and law-breakers from the equation:-
Almost five in every 10 prisoners in Malaysian prisons are foreigners. And statistics by the Prisons Department reveal that there was a 14 percent increase in the number of foreign inmates between 2006 and 2009. According to statistics by the Malaysian Prison Department, about 52 percent of prisoners in the country are foreigners. The highest was recorded in 2007 where 82,987 prisoners were foreigners as compared to 66, 272 locals.
Foreigners are responsible for 30 per cent of index crime in Sabah, the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on illegal immigrants heard today amid a perceived spike in criminal offences. Sabah police chief Datuk Hamza Taib testified today that foreigners committed 15 per cent of index crimes against locals ― including violent crimes like murder, rape, robberies and theft ― and another 15 per cent against other foreigners.
Well, it used to be the Indonesians, Bangladeshi, Pakistanis (wonder what they are doing here with very little skills, money and purpose), Nigerians “students”, Iranians, Indians and to some small extent the Chinese and Taiwanese when it comes to scam, crime and social disorders and now Latin Americans have joined the band-wagon and in a big way too.
Malaysia (aka Truly Asia) is very attractive to all foreigners who want to sample fine accommodations, travel, food, shopping, business, education and employment in this side of the world and at times we are willing to go that extra mile to compete with other tourists spots in the region (namely Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia) for the same group of tourists.
Unfortunately, it also had attracted a good deal of filth from Latin America. Perhaps we should start with the very basic question – what makes Malaysia attractive to these Latin American criminals (taking a queue from the KL CID chief stated that “Malaysia is being promoted as a choice destination for Latin Americans but for sinister reasons”).
Is it because there is a lack of care and enforcement at the various entries points to a point where even a green slimy Martian can slip in without any blink from the authorities? I don’t think so – after all the authorities did a splendid job banning PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar from entering Sabah back in May 2013 (and that Australian MP too) – all in the name of security of course.
Or is it because it is simply easier to commit the crime in Malaysia and get away with it? The police force is evidentially stretched to its limits and it is unfortunate they cannot be at all places at the same time. And the fact that peace-loving Malaysians are not living in fortresses manned by heavily armed guards makes it easier for these criminals to break into houses.
Whatever the reason may be, it is clear that Malaysia has ended up as a beacon for these criminals – what we are going to do about it?
To be fair, I am sure the good people from the Immigration and the Police have been doing their job well enough to stop these criminals at the track. Otherwise, we would have been another Latin American country where criminal gang-related shooting (we are coming to this already), drugs & human trafficking, violent robberies and kidnappings would have been a daily affair.
Yes, we are hunting these criminals down but it is more of a reactive action than a proactive one. It is clear that we are not doing enough – we still having missing ATM machines and all fingers are pointing back to the Latin Americans.
There are still loopholes in the system we have not patched and thus foreign criminals are still able to slip in. We have yet to ban some people from some countries and only allowing them into the country only if they have very strong credentials and very good reasons to be in the country (buggers wanting to learn English is NOT one of them!). With biometrics in place, why we are still having problems with forged documents – it is not easy to forge fingerprints when it is done in front of the immigration officers.
After all, these criminals may have forged documents & false identities but the system would be intelligent enough to detect the same idiots if they are trying slip in with another name and from another entry point. Are we giving these criminals the kid-glove treatment just because they are foreigners (a case of misplaced inferiority where we think the foreigners are one notch better than the locals)?
But investigating, arresting and punishing the criminals is just one part of the action to stop the criminals in their tracks.
Another starts at the very entry point to the country. Officials who let these criminals in through corruption or recklessness should be flushed out and punished. A better system should be put in place to detect forged documents – biometrics coupled with the good wealth of databases from the various law enforcement agencies should be utilized to ensure no one enters the country with forged documents and identities and if they try to do so, they should be held up immediately for suspicion of committing crimes in the country.
Repeated criminals should be charged with terrorism and any locals who help them with high treason.
As I have mentioned before, we can never tolerate anyone who comes to this country and abuse the entry privileges, take our hospitality for granted, use this country as a transit point for all kind of illegal activities, rob & cheat Malaysians at the same time and gain millions of ringgit from their illegal activities whilst continuing to show their middle finger to the law of the country.
News should travel back to Latin American countries with the strongest message that Malaysia is a tough place for any criminals and it is not easy to get away with any crimes and where for more serious ones, mandatory death by hanging awaits them.
What will take for the Government to come down hard on these foreigners?
The fact that Malaysia is being promoted as a place to commit a crime and one website already mentioned the country in its top list for dangerous cities should have irked all Malaysians, the authorities and the Government into action.
It is not good for the country in the long run. Yes, it is a fact that we cannot fix all problems overnight – we cannot do away with an act of crime so soon but we should be chipping away on the actions to be taken to curtail them. At the end of the day, crime will still happen but one where the criminal cannot get away so easily and once catch and punished to an extent that they will fear to commit any crime.
P.s. And on the notion of the Latin American criminals claiming that they do not speak English (reminds me of another case of “me speak no English“) and thus making it difficult for the police to further investigate, here’s something the police could do – take a piece of rod iron, throw it into the fire and once it is burning hot red, shove it into the darkest side of their body and see how they scream in perfect English!