( dpa ) - Malaysian police have arrested nine Indonesians believed responsible for a spate of armed robberies in several wealthy residential areas, a news report said Sunday.
Following a tip-off from the public, a pre-dawn raid was carried out Saturday on the workers quarters of a construction site. The raid comprised 57 police officers and members of the state and district criminal investigation departments of the eastern state of Sarawak.
The suspects, believed to have entered the state on social visit passes, had tried to pass themselves off as employees of a construction company, hiding in the quarters with other Indonesian workers, the News Straits Times daily reported.
Police seized several weapons including two home-made pistols, nine .38-calibre bullets, a spear gun, a toy gun, seven knives, an axe, a balaclava and other items believed to have been used in the armed robberies.
"Our investigations show that there are four gangs responsible for the robberies," said state deputy police chief Abdul Rahman Husain.
"However, we were surprised to see that those that we had identified staying together in the quarters," he said.
Abdul Rahman said police had launched the operation on Thursday following a spate of armed robberies in the wealthy neighbourhoods in the state.
All the suspects were being detained at police headquarters.