PETALING JAYA: The home ministry today confirmed that three special police task forces were disbanded in June.
The dissolution involves the Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group (STING), Special Task Force for Anti-vice, Gaming and Gangsterism (Stagg) and the Special Task Force On Organised Crime (Stafoc).
Deputy Home Minister Mohd Azis Jamman said the disbanding of the elite teams was because there was an overlap in police duties, resulting in finger-pointing.
“There was finger-pointing at one point. Both sides were pointing at each other, saying it’s not their job, but the other side’s job.
“In the end, crimes like open house gambling become rampant. To prevent an overlap, we dissolved one and consolidated the other division,” he told FMT.
Previously, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said police would disband several task force teams as part of a restructuring exercise.
He had expressed hope that the disbanding would result in police being viewed positively by society.
Elaborating further, Azis said staff from all three teams would be absorbed into suitable units.
“For instance, those investigating crimes will be absorbed into criminal investigation, while those probing gambling will be part of the Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies (D7) division,” he said.
The Sepanggar MP also dismisssed fears that the dissolution of the three teams would lead to a rise in crime rates.
“This rise (in crime rates) will not happen. We are confident of better coordination and the fight against crime will be better than before,” he said.
Stagg was formed with the aim of catching the “big fish” involved in local as well as international vice and gambling syndicates.
Stafoc was formed to go after underworld kingpins and those involved in gangsterism and other serious crimes.
STING was formed to target the most notorious drug syndicates and drug barons.