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Gang 21 crushed, district police in the dark

Gang 21 suspects being rounded up in the ‘Firefly’ operation. ― Malay Mail pic
Gang 21 suspects being rounded up in the ‘Firefly’ operation. ― Malay Mail pic

PETALING JAYA, Nov 30 ― Federal police wiped out the notorious Gang 21 in a 15-hour crackdown from Monday — without the knowledge of the Kuala Selangor district police. 

Twelve members, including their 46-year-old leader, were nabbed, ending three years of violence and illicit activities.

The suspects, aged 20 to 46, were arrested in Kota Damansara, Gombak and Kuala Selangor.

Bukit Aman Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division (D7) principle assistant director SAC Rohaimi Md Isa said the crackdown, which started at 4pm, was the culmination of a three-month operation under Ops Cantas, codenamed “Firefly”. 

Explaining that the operation was named after Kuala Selangor’s famous attraction, he said it was completely handled by Bukit Aman to ensure information was kept classified. 

“A team of 65 federal officers led by “Firefly” commander, ACP Amir Rasid Derani and head of operations DSP Shan Gopal, were able to move in after sufficient information was gathered (from victims). 

“Operations were carried out smoothly as it was raining and the members were cooped up at home,” he said, adding victims who had their statements recorded from as far back as 2014 were interviewed.

The suspects were yesterday remanded under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959, for 21 days.

On the gang’s streak of violence, Rohaimi said the 41-year-old “assistant leader” was involved in a double murder in Kuala Selangor, where he hacked two victims to death in 2002.

He said the suspect was arrested under the Emergency Ordinance but he was not remorseful when released, and went on to expand the gang by recruiting even more members.

“Instead of becoming a better person, he just got stronger and became the No. 2 in the group,” he said.

“The gang continuously terrorised the residents to the extent of vandalising property by spraying ‘21’ on the walls to mark their presence. They would use parang, stones and metals to threaten residents.” 

Rohaimi said some of the members had criminal records, which included drug offences, dishonestly receiving stolen property and theft.

Meanwhile, a source said district police would be questioned on why no gang members were arrested despite the numerous reports lodged.

“We will question the gang members to check their relationship with the police or if they are affiliated with the authorities,” said the source. 

The gang, formed in 2000, has 2,357 members, who are Indians and Chinese, and are mostly active in Perak, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. 

It was learnt the members usually recruited school leavers and teenagers. 

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