142 arrested in Sarawak overnight as police come down hard on MCO violators

Deputy State Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar said they were arrested and taken to police stations as compound notices will no longer be issued to violators under the third phase of MCO. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Deputy State Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar said they were arrested and taken to police stations as compound notices will no longer be issued to violators under the third phase of MCO. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUCHING, April 16 — Sarawak police have arrested 142 violators of the movement control order (MCO) throughout the state since last night, Deputy State Police Commissioner Datuk Dev Kumar said today.

He said they were arrested and taken to police stations as compound notices will no longer be issued to violators under the third phase of MCO.

Dev Kumar said 28 of the 142 were arrested in Serian district, followed by Padawan (21), Sibu (18), Bintulu (17), Kuching (16), Kota Samarahan (11), Sarikei (70), Limbang (five), Song (four), Simanggang (two), Betong (two), Meradong (two) and Lundu (one).

“As of yesterday, the beginning of the third phase of MCO, any person who is arrested will be taken to the police station and have their statements recorded.

“If it is necessary, they will also be detained in the police lock-ups,” he said, adding that the police may also apply to the court to remand the violators for further investigations.

“If there is no longer any need to detain them further, they will be released on police bail,” he said.

Dev Kumar said the police will prepare investigation papers which will then be submitted to the deputy public prosecutor who decide whether to charge the violators in court.

He added the violators are liable to a maximum fine of not more than RM1,000, or an imprisonment term of six months, or both upon conviction under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

Dev Kumar said a total of 775 persons have been arrested for defying the MCO in Sarawak since March 18.

He added 733 others were issued with compounded notices and 484 others were charged in court.

He advised the public to comply with the third phase of MCO which will end on April 28.

“If there is no reason to go out, just stay at home,” he said, adding that the police will be stricter about enforcing the MCO this time around.

He added that the police will stop issuing warnings to people.

“Anyone who is clearly defying the MCO will be arrested on the spot,” he warned.

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