Saturday, December 30, 2006

MORE Pics - RM3.5 Million COMPUTER Parts STOLEN From Penang Warehouse; An Inside Job; Police Criticized - Inaction on SMS of Possible Robbery

CID BOSS Disputes Claims by PFFA (Penang Freight Forwarders Association) on SMS - NO ACTION. SMS (was an old one) & NO SUCH ROBBERY as Claimed; Amount Loss is RM2 Million and Not RM3.5 Million
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SMS warning about robbery an old message, say police

31 Dec 2006, NST

GEORGE TOWN: The SMS which the Penang Freight Forwarders Association forwarded to the police on Dec 16 informing them of an impending hijack or robbery at a warehouse was an old message.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee (ABOVE) said yesterday that the police, nevertheless, took action upon receiving the SMS. "We interviewed six people including PFFA secretary-general Bryan Kor, who provided us with the SMS. "We discovered that the SMS was sent on Oct 14, even before the Batu Maung RM50 million microchip heist on Nov 20. It was not a new text message alerting the police to a possible hijack or robbery at a warehouse. "State CID chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Abdul Samah Mat, however, ordered district police chiefs to increase patrols in areas where the warehouses were located," he said.

Kor and PFFA chairman Joachim Loo had said at a Press conference on Friday that police did nothing to stop the robbery. Wan said: "It was wrong of the association to accuse the police of not taking any preventive action despite being informed through the SMS." Loo and Kor had claimed that five parang-wielding men had entered the warehouse in Juru and carted away more than RM3.5 million worth of computer components on Boxing Day at 1am.

Police investigations revealed that no such robbery took place as claimed by the association. They said the goods that were stolen, between 8pm and 8.30pm last Sunday, were printed circuit boards and that several warehouse staff had collaborated with outside parties to commit the theft. Abdul Samah said yesterday that police were considering taking action against PFFA.

"We are consulting our superiors on this matter," he said at the Seberang Perai Tengah district police headquarters. Police picked up eight suspects, including a female security guard, yesterday, and are looking for several more suspects. He said the stolen goods were valued at RM2 million and not RM3.5 million as reported.

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The company that was robbed is Seberang Perai-based Solectron Technologies Sdn Bhd. Located at Plot 13, Phase IV, Prai Industrial Estate’ 13600 Prai ,Penang. Its Chief Executive Officer is Mr Joe Tang Heam Hong

They manufacture a range of products covering:
Flex Circuit Assemblies, Printed Circuit Board Assemblies, System Integration for Computer-Related Products, Telecommunication Equipment and Mass Storage Devices, and Peripherals, Workstations. Police criticized
for alleged inaction despite an SMS informing them of a possible hijack or robbery. They only interested in the sender of SMS. They have had too many wolves crying lately? And it’s the end of the year season, with VIPS all on leave. No one is interested. You cannot find a better time to strike.?

RM3.5m worth of computer parts stolen; 30 Dec 2006; NST

GEORGE TOWN: More than RM3.5 million worth of computer components were reported missing from a warehouse in Juru a month after a gang of 20 escaped with more than RM50 million in microchips in Batu Maung. Police confirmed the theft yesterday, but said it was not committed by a parang-wielding gang as claimed by the Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA). Seberang Prai Tengah district police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Anil Shah Abdullah said initial investigations showed that the goods were stolen by several warehouse staff who had collaborated with outside parties.

"We have established that it was an inside job and not a robbery as some parties are claiming. "The police were notified of the missing items about 1am on Boxing Day," Mohd Anil said yesterday. He said a forwarding company informed the authorities about the theft after discovering the goods missing during a routine check. He said the items, estimated to be worth RM3.5 million, and was removed from the warehouse about 30 hours before the theft was reported.

"Our checks showed that the warehouse security and staff had colluded with outside parties to take the goods out of the warehouse along with an authentic shipment," he said. Mohd Anil said lorries were used to carry the goods which had yet to be recovered. Police detained seven men within 48 hours of the theft being reported. Mohd Anil said the seven, aged between 20 and 40 years, were remanded until Jan 3. He expects more arrests.

PFFA president Joachim Loo (ABOVE with SMS Message) told a Press conference yesterday that five men, armed with parangs, arrived at the warehouse in a container lorry and carted away the goods.

He criticised the police for alleged inaction despite an SMS from the association informing them of a possible hijack or robbery at the warehouse. He said the message was received by the association’s secretary-general Bryan Kor on Dec 16 who then forwarded it to the police. He also criticised the authorities for not beefing up security in the industrial areas. Its president, Joachim Loo, said that last Dec 16 the association lodged a police report that most of its members had received SMS messages warning them of another robbery soon. The police had treated the warning as a fake and had even interrogated the association's secretary Bryan Kor for two hours after he made the report, he said.

ABOVE: The enhanced copy of the SMS

Loo said Kor had received an SMS that said: "Pliz (please) be alert that a syndicate will attempt hijack or robbery within this few days in Penang/mainland. Reliable sources stated high end product targetted. Pliz (please) ensure overall security on alert mode." He said the police were more interested in the sender of the SMS, and not on ways to prevent the robbery. Loo said that two days after receiving the SMS, the association even had a meeting with Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon who announced the setting up of a security committee chaired by Penang State Secretary Datuk Jamaludin Hasan. "When we contacted the committee the next day, all the officers were on leave and there was no one at the chief minister's office other than a clerk who told us that everybody was on leave," he said.

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Saturday December 30, 2006; STAR

Warehouse theft: 7 held

PENANG: Five weeks after robbers walked away with RM47mil worth of computer chips from a cargo warehouse on the island, RM3.5mil worth of computer components were reported missing from a warehouse in Bukit Tengah, Juru, here. A management staff member, who went to the warehouse on Christmas Eve for a stock check, discovered the items missing and an internal investigation was immediately launched before a police report was lodged. Central Seberang Prai district OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Anil Shah Abdullah confirmed that a police report was lodged on Dec 26, and that the theft was an inside job as there was no sign of a break-in. Initial investigations showed that a container lorry was seen entering the building on Christmas Eve, said ACP Mohd Anil. He believed that the suspects had used the container to smuggle out the consignment. Seven people, aged between 20 and 40s, including the warehouse’s security and store personnel and two outsiders, were arrested shortly after the police report was made at 1am. SMS

ABOVE: Loo (right) showing a blown-up SMS text which they received from sources on Dec 16 alerting them of an impending theft at a warehouse in Penang. With him is Khor.

They will be remanded until Jan 3 to facilitate investigations,” ACP Mohd Anil said, adding that the loot had yet to be recovered. The case has been classified as theft under Section 380 of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to 10 years with a possible fine or whipping upon conviction, he said. The Penang Freight Forwarders Association (PFFA) claimed that it had on Dec 16 warned police about an impending robbery at a warehouses either on Penang island or Seberang Prai.

PFFA president Joachim Loo said the warning came from their secretary-general Bryan Khor, who received the tip-off from his sources via SMS that a syndicate was attempting to rob a warehouse of its high-end products. “A discussion was then held among PFFA members, before I forwarded the SMS to the police, including state police Chief Deputy Comm Datuk Koh Hong Sun,” he said. “This only shows that our information was not viewed seriously,” he told a press conference yesterday. Loo hoped the state government and police would beef up the security at warehouses.

“This is the second time computer components had gone missing. And it happened five weeks after the first incident at the air cargo complex at the Batu Maung Free Commercial Zone. We hope the relevant authority will set up a security task force as promised on Dec 14,” said Loo. State CID chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Abdul Samah Mat said the police took immediate action upon receiving the PFFA tip-off but said the information was vague as there were hundreds of warehouses in the state. “Still, I instructed all the OCPDs to step up patrols in warehouse areas,” he said.
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December 30, 2006 00:05 AM

Computer Components Worth RM3.5 Mln Stolen In Penang

PENANG, Dec 29 (Bernama) -- Computer components worth RM3.5 million were stolen from a warehouse in Penang on Christmas Day, after forwarding agents were forewarned via the short messaging system (SMS) of such a theft. The components were carted away from a transit warehouse of a multinational company in Juru between 7 pm and 8 pm Seberang Perai Tengah District Police Chief ACP Mohamad Anil Shah Abdullah said the theft was discovered after an inspection of the warehouse's closed-circuit television (CCTV) video showed suspicious movement in the premises.

"After analysing the CCTV video, the company found that several boxes containing computer components worth millions of ringgit were missing," he told reporters here Friday. Anil Shah said no element of force was used on the warehouse or its employees, indicating that it could have been an inside job done while workers were busy unloading goods for delivery. "Our investigations found that the heist was done by those who understood the warehouse's system and operations," he said. So far, the police have remanded seven men until Jan 3 to assist in the investigation.
It is understood that the company that was robbed is Seberang Perai-based Solectron Technologies Sdn Bhd which made a police report on the robbery 30 hours after the incident. The incident marked the second time in less than two months that computer components worth millions of ringgit had been carted away from warehouses. At 2 am last Nov 20, a group of 20 men, including four in Rela uniform, assaulted 17 workers at the Second Air Cargo Complex in Batu Maung here and fled with two containers of microchips worth more than RM40 million. Meanwhile, the Penang Freight Forwarders' Association Friday claimed that the police were refusing to reveal the latest heist to cover up their failure in preventing robberies at warehouses


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