The blast in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, has put the spotlight once again on gangland violence. The authorities suspect the blast could be yet another violent incident of rival gangs battling over turf or crimes involving gangs. Last year had seen a spike in gun violence which prompted a tough anti-crime crackdown, with the Home Ministry releasing a list of 49 gangs with more than 40,000 members involved in extortion, drug distribution and other criminal activities.
Here’s a snapshot of the top 10 biggest gangs on the list, which is the most recent, publicly available official data.
1. Gang 04 Number of members: 5,440Previously known as Hua Kee, the gang was active in drug dealing, murder, extortion and robbery.
2. Gang 08 Number of members: 4,423 Founded in the 1970s, the gang is active in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Perak, Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca. Their activities include drug dealing, collecting protection money and robbery.
3. Double 7 Number of members: 1,053 Formed eight years ago, majority of the gang members are Malays with businesses in F&B and entertainment sector. The group is active in Peninsular Malaysia.
4. Tiga Line Number of members: 729 The group members identify themselves with the colours green, yellow and red, inspired by the Rastafari movement in Jamaica. They are active in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Kedah and Perak.
5. Geng 24Number of members: 758 A Chinese gang which is active in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Perak and Johor.
6. Gang 18 Number of members: 1,209 This gang is originated from traditional Chinese organised crime organisations. Active in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Johor, they are responsible for many of the drug dealings in the country.
7. Gang 36 Number of members: 8,512 It is active in Peninsular Malaysia and mostly made of Indian members with financial backing from Chinese real estate and other businessmen. The number “36” signifies Triads 6. It is an offshoot of the long existing Chinese triad Hung Meng Hooi.
8. Ang Soon Thong Number of members: UnclearIt’s a secret society based in Singapore and Malaysia. Active since the 1950s, the gang was mainly in Sembawang, Singapore.
9. Wah Kee Number of members: Unclear A secret society started in the 19th century, they are mainly based in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Penang, Perak, Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, and Sarawak. They deal in heroin. The triad also has branches in Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, United States, Canada and New Zealand.
10. Sio Sam Ong Number of members: Unclear Literally means “Three Little Emperors”, it is the leading Chinese triad in Malaysia, with a strong presence in Penang and other northern states. Its main activities included international drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, extortion, racketeering, and loan sharking, and police believed it was actively involved in politics. Many of its top members are still high on the police wanted list.