Port Dickson police crippled a syndicate which stole cattles by tranquilising the animals with sedative-filled syringes, before selling them at below market price.
Bernama quoted district police chief Supt Adzli Abu Shah saying that three members of the syndicate were nabbed in several raids on Jan 31 and Feb 3 in Tanah Merah, Labu and Sepang, Negri Sembilan.
Two men who tried to buy stolen cattle from the syndicate were also arrested.
"Investigations revealed the syndicate usually targeted cattle let loose by their owners at oil palm plantations. They will then place the sedative containing syringe in a blowpipe and tranquilise the cattle. Once the animals are sedated, they will take it to a remote location.
"A member of the syndicate will then transport the animals in a one-tonne lorry to be sold to ready buyers. Our probe revealed the syndicate had obtained the sedatives used in the theft at the Maha exhibition," Adzli said.
The suspects were arrested following a police report lodged by a cattle owner, who found three of his cows in a semi-conscious state on Jan 31.
The complainant had also reported seeing three men flee from the oil palm plantation, and the trio were later tracked down.
According to investigations, buyers had purchased at least 60 to 80 cows from the syndicate, at below market price.
"The syndicate sold the cattle by weight, usually RM23 a kg. The buyers would then also sell the beef at a lower price. We're tracking down three more suspects, including the mastermind known as G Veenod, who is the intermediary between the buyers and cattle thieves," said Adzli, adding that police believe the gang had been active since 2013 in several areas around Negri Sembilan.
The suspects, who are currently under remand, are being probed for theft. - Mkini