ALOR SETAR (Sept 6): Police in Kedah today arrested three men with heavy tattoos, firearms and machetes during a suspected gang-related raid on a house that was also stored with substances believed to be heroin. Acting on a tip-off, the operation was conducted at 2.30am on the house at Jalan Permai in Sungai Petani, Kedah Chief Police Officer Senior DCP Datuk Ahmad Ibrahim said this morning. The raid was part of the nationwide Ops Cantas, launched Aug 17, to weed out criminal gangs and secret societies. Ahmad told reporters at the state police headquarters here that the raiding team knocked on the main door several times and called for the occupants to come out several times but there was no response. The team then broke the main grill and a back iron door, and entered the house to find three Indian men hiding in a backroom. Upon searching the premise, they found a Browning pistol together with a cache of bullets with four live bullets, six machetes and one head mask. Police also found 13 packets filled with powder and small lumps believed to be heroin, together with various equipment for packaging of the substance, Ahmad said. The case is being investigated under four crime-related enactments which carry a host of severe penalties. Under Section 8 of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, which deals with unlawful possession of firearms, the suspects, if found guilty, each face maximum imprisonment of 14 years and whipping with not less than six strokes. If convicted for possessing corrosive or explosive substance for the purpose of causing hurt, under Section 3 of the Corrosive and Explosive Substances and Offensive Weapons Act 1958, they face a jail term of not more than three years and whipping. Section 39A (2) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 carries imprisonment for life or not less than five years, as well as whipping with at least ten strokes. The three men are also investigated under Section 43 of the Societies Act 1966 for alleged membership or active affiliation with an unlawful society. Upon conviction, the penalty here carries imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine not more than RM5,000, or both. The suspects and the materials were taken to the Kuala Muda District Police headquarters for further investigations. The raid comes in the wake of police in mainland Penang yesterday remanding three teenagers to facilitate investigations into the attempted murder of a 43-year-old restaurant owner in Nibong Tebal on Wednesday. The victim in this case, whose name had been withheld, was injured in the abdomen and has since lapsed into a coma after being admitted at the Seberang Jaya Hospital. Police say the case is linked to the shooting of six men at same victim's restaurant in Taman Kasawari, Simpang Ampat on Aug 23.
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