On the day of the border re-opening (1 Apr), a Facebook user uploaded a total of four shocking clips of motorcyclists robbing innocent motorists.
In the description, she wrote, “Footage of Motorists gang in JB robbing S’porean motorists & cars 😨 Those driving in please be very, very safe. 🙏”
The Shocking Videos that Went Viral
For the sake of preserving the anonymity of the poster, in addition to the fact that Facebook has disallowed embeds due to some of its violent and questionable contents, the events of the videos will be quickly summarised.
The first video features an innocent motorist that came to a standstill near a curb before he was promptly surrounded by a gang of motorcyclists.
The 12 robbers proceed to feel up their victim for his possessions, which he hands over because he’s severely outnumbered—and then the robbers shove him off his motorcycle before riding away.
The second clip seems to be taken from a news source called “Correo”, where two robbers on a bike stop halfway and threaten the three passers-by, presumably two men and one woman.
Owing to the poor quality of the footage, it’s unclear what the robber had been holding, but they manage to coerce their victims into handing over their monetary possessions before they climb onto their shared bike again and flee with their ill-begotten gains.
The third video is not surveillance footage, but it appears to be taken by a random bystander.
From the zoomed-in video, a pair of robbers on a motorbike forcibly halt a white car from driving onwards by having a man in black stand in the middle of the road.
His partner-in-crime immediately rushes over and opens the side doors, checking for any easy valuables to grab.
The robbers end up making away with a black bag, though the content inside the bag is unknown.
The fourth clip is perhaps the most shocking: the pair of robbers attempted to rob the owner of the white car, but the driver was smart enough to drive away before the robbers could surround him and force entry.
However, the white car driver also proves to be very vindictive, because he proceeds to reverse his car back into the parking lot to run over the two robbers and their bike.
The alarming contents clearly caught the attention of many, since the post was shared more than 4,000 times.
Johor Police States That the Viral Videos are Fake
On Sunday (3 Apr), the Johor Police released a statement, denying the allegations of a Malaysian gang injuring and robbing Singaporeans.
According to the Malay Mail, Johor Police Chief Kamarul Zaman said that the videos and photographs were fake.
He even mentioned that in Nov 2021, the Royal Malaysia Police had also given a statement regarding the matter.
To give more credence to their statement, Shin Min Daily News looked into the four video clips and managed to dig out the fact that most of these incidents took place in 2014.
Netizens with more discerning eyes noted that the car plate numbers were not even registered in Malaysia, nor did the streets where the robberies took place resemble any place in Malaysia.
In fact, the video clip from “Corello” is the most suspicious, because the closest new source with that name is El Corello, which is a daily newspaper from Northern Spain.
Plus, the timestamp from the first footage clearly states that the incident took place in 2021, not 2022.
Be Wary of False Information
Mr Kamarul Zaman believes that these fake videos and photographs were promulgated to create fear among the public, especially the Singaporean tourists entering Johor Bahru.
While the Malaysian police force is well-aware that robberies and pickpocketing do happen, they have increased the number of deployed officers near the customs and numerous hotspots to prevent such incidents from occurring, especially given the huge influx of travellers in the first few days of the border re-opening.
The Johor Police Chief reiterated that spreading or making false speculation is illegal, and actions can be taken under Section 233 of Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Act 1988.
In essence, they have libel laws in place, and they can sue.
If found guilty, individuals may be fined up to a maximum of RM50,000 (S$16,038), jailed for a year, or both.
Mr Kamarul Zaman advises the public to be more circumspect about allegations from “illegal sources”, and warns against the spreading of false information.
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