17 February 2017: Malaysian authorities have detained eleven Nepali nationals for running an organised crime gang that targeted impoverished migrant workers from their own country.
Seberang Perai Tengah police chief ACP Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid told Malaysia’s Star Online that suspects were between the age of 22 and 36, included two women. Police suspected that the head of the gang was in Penang province to collect money extorted from impoverished Nepali migrant workers.
Known as the Penang Young Star Gang, the gang was apparently involved in serious extortion campaign and robberies over the past one year. According to police, Nepali migrants had to pay the gang members 25 Ringgit a month as “protection money”.
“The group leader, aged 36, who lived in Kuala Lumpur, is believed to be here to get the protection money collected by the gang members,” Mr Hamid was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The Nepali gang appears to have been styled after organised crime gangs in Asian countries in that they have a “special tattoo” that identifies them as members of Penang Young Star Gang. They also had a special ceremony for new members and had a place to “recruit” new members, police further added.
Despite the pain and harm they caused on their hardworking fellow countrymen, the group still appeared to retain some “nationalism” because when police raided they found the gang members were in possession of Nepal’s national flag, among other items.