Cargo thieves in Malaysia are getting pretty gutsy and sophisticated. These are not your local troublemakers knocking over the occasional truck:
Four of the 20-member gang, dressed in security uniforms, drove into the zone in two stolen trailers at 2.15 am. They told the two Customs officers manning the checkpoint that they were there to flush out illegal workers and instructed them not to alert the people inside the complex. Carrying machetes, the gang then overpowered the 17 warehouse guards, including the Customs officers, and forced them to drink a chloroform-laced liquid to prevent any resistance. Within an hour, they piled 585 cartons and 18 pallets of microchips and motherboards onto the trucks, took the footage of the robbery from the closed-circuit TV cameras, and fled. Several suspects were detained and interrogated but later released due to lack of evidence.
ViaÂ eCargonewsAsia. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, but certainly one of the biggest. A total of US$12.7 million was jacked from Bax Global within the Batu Muang Free Commercial Zone in Penang.
Officials are rightly concerned that Malaysia could get a bad rep as a cargo security risk, scaring of potential new investments:
Intel’s managing director in Malaysia, K.C. Yoon, said that US electronic companies were feeling uneasy because of a lack of security in the region. Yoon urged the government as well as the logistics and warehouse providers to intensify security not only in Penang but also in other parts of the country to prevent a recurrence of such an incident. The stolen goods belonged to Intel.
The American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce echoed similar sentiments, warning that the heist would generate bad publicity for Malaysia and may scare off potential investors unless security weas tightened.