IPOH: A SPECIAL police task force has been formed to crack down on the turf war between two rival gangs in Taiping.
Perak police chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Dahlan said members of the gangs had been fighting each other to expand their territory for the last two years.
"A special task force led by state CID chief Datuk Mohd Dzuraidi Ibrahim will deal with it," he said after the state police contingent monthly gathering yesterday.
Mohd Shukri was commenting on the death of a 35-year-old scrap metal dealer near Simpang in Taiping on Monday.
V. Kalithasen, believed to be a gang member, was knocked off his motorcycle by three men. He fled on foot but was chased to a house where he was hacked to death.
Mohd Shukri said police were on the trail of the masterminds behind the gangs who were believed to be residing in neighbouring states.
Perak narcotics chief ACP Roslan Abdul Wahid said gang rivalry had intensified because police had crippled narcotics activities in Taiping.
"When one gang is crippled, others would try to come in and occupy the turf, leading to clashes," he said.
In a separate case, two private college students were among those arrested in connection with a robbery in Tanjung Malim last week.
Mohd Shukri said the students were suspected to be among five robbers from Selangor, aged between 17 and 23, who held up the customers at a restaurant during lunch hour.
"They relieved more than a dozen of the customers of their personal belongings, including money and handphones," he said.
The robbers also took about RM1,500 from the cash register.
"Following a tip-off, the police arrested the suspects about an hour later while they were travelling in a stolen car along the Serendah-Kuala Kubu road."
He said police were investigating if the gang was also responsible for a spate of robberies in the Klang Valley.