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Police said they solved 2006 microchip heist

PENANG, 12 Dec 2008: The theft of microchips from a multinational company’s go-down at the Air Cargo Complex in Batu Maung in 2006 has been solved with the arrest of eight men under the Emergency Ordinance, the police said.

Penang Deputy Chief Police Officer Datuk Salleh Mat Rasid said police had arrested the local men who admitted to the theft but they (the police) did not have enough evidence to charge them in court.

As such, the police used the Emergency Ordinance to detain them for two years in Simpang Rengam as a preventive measure, Salleh said at a news conference attended by Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, here today.

The news conference was held after Lim had discussions with various quarters, including the industries and police to find ways to face the uncertain economic situation next year.

Salleh however said the microchips valued at RM48 million owned by Intel were not recovered as they were believed to have been taken out of the country.

“The case has been solved but it was not announced to the public. However, investigation into the case is not closed. We will increase cooperation with the industrial sector to ensure that such incidents do not recur,” he said.

According to Salleh, 30 people were detained to help in investigations but only eight were further detained as the rest were found to be not involved in the case.

In the 2am theft on 20 Nov 2006, a group of 20 men, including four in Rela uniform, attacked and beat 17 personnel of the air cargo complex and took off with the microchips in two container trucks.

Several workers were forced to drink a concoction containing chloroform that made them nauseous and faint.

Five days later, two container trucks believed to be have been used in the theft were found empty in an vacant shop-house area in Taman Idaman, Simpang Ampat, Nibong Tebal.

Meanwhile, Lim suggested that the police have posts at both ends of the Penang Bridge to enhance security, especially for vehicles that transport factory goods to prevent them from being robbed midway.

He said this was important to ensure that companies operating in the state felt safe and that their investments were secure.
The police have however suggested that Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd have more closed circuit TV cameras on and below the bridge.

“The underside of the bridge too needs to be monitored for sea movements and explosive materials,” said Salleh — Bernama

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