Heavy machinery theft ring smashed, RTD officer picked up
TEMERLOH: A 56-year-old Road Transport Department(RTD) officer was among 11 suspects detained by the police in connection with stealing heavy machinery worth RM2.6m since early this year.
In the "Ops Cantas Lejang" operation last week, a police team detained five men aged between 30 and 55 years old, and recovered 26 machines which were reported stolen in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Perak and several districts in Pahang.
The suspects later led police to Desa Pandan in Kuala Lumpur where police nabbed three men before they seized fake vehicle road tax, grants and other related documents.
At 7.30am this morning, police arrested a female RTD officer who was based in Selangor and picked two others in their 30s, who were alleged to have strong contacts with RTD officers and personnel.
State police chief Datuk Sharifuddin Abdul Ghani said a special police task force from Pahang along with their counterparts from other states had raided several locations before recovering the stolen machines including back-hoe loaders and excavators.
He said investigations revealed that the syndicate would change the chassis number of the stolen machines to avoid detection before selling them to buyers in other states.
"Checks revealed that the RTD officer was believed to have provided grants to buyers. We are also checking if the trailers used to transport the stolen heavy machines were rented or belonged to the syndicate.
"The syndicate members were also responsible for three robberies in Kajang, Selangor and with their arrest, police have solved 20 cases involving stolen machines in the country," he told reporters.
It is learnt that the syndicate targeted construction sites and agriculture areas before choosing a suitable time to strike and load the heavy vehicles into their trailers.
The suspects have been remanded for a week at the district police station here to facilitate investigations.