The police will mobilise their “Pasukan Cantas” in flood-hit areas to prevent the theft of vehicles damaged by floods, said Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin.
“We will deploy this team and arrest those stealing the vehicles of flood victims in all flood-affected areas,” he said after a ceremony to hand over the instrument of appointment to the new deputy inspector-general of police yesterday.
Hamzah said he had discussed the issue with Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
Pasukan Cantas, comprising personnel of various ranks, is generally deployed to tackle specific cases in the country.
Reports had gone viral on social media about vehicles stranded in the floods being stolen, including by people using tow trucks to cart them away.
Asked about the incidents of looting in Taman Sri Muda in Shah Alam, Hamzah said police were conducting further investigations as CCTV recordings showed that even non-essential goods had been stolen.
“Of course, some people may have forgiven the perpetrators (for stealing out of desperation). However, CCTV shows that what was taken was not just food but also telephone accessories, cigarettes, liquor and other items. It’s a case of theft which caused losses to traders,” he said.
Shah Alam district police chief ACP Baharudin Mat Taib was reported as saying that 31 foreigners had been arrested in connection with the looting of several convenience stores in Taman Sri Muda during the floods.
Hamzah also said police had set up a tactical command centre in Hulu Langat district in Selangor to coordinate the flood relief operations of all units.
“This command centre will strengthen operations to clean up the affected areas and extend aid to protect the welfare of flood victims,” he said.
Hamzah said the police plan to buy 50 boats for the Selangor contingent specially for use in flood relief operations, and that the application had been forwarded to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz.
“Police have enough assets in Terengganu and Pahang but in Selangor, this (flood) was unprecedented. These boats will be placed at police stations throughout Selangor,” he said.