Police have arrested 627 suspected secret society members so far this year and identified 681 secret societies with 9,042 members which are now under surveillance.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Huzir Mohamed (above) said the 627 suspects were arrested in operations conducted between January and Saturday.
He said of this number, 19 were detained under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca), with the majority of them being locals.
Drastic action would be taken against secret societies under the existing provisions, including the Penal Code which uses provisions of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), Huzir said at a special press conference in Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur today.
He said that since Sosma was created, 535 individuals were arrested to assist in investigations and 456 were charged with joining organised crime groups.
"Stern action needs to be taken in order to eliminate gangsterism.
"Actions in accordance with the provisions under Sosma, Poca, the Penal Code, the Arms Act 1960 and others will be intensified this year," Huzir said.
He said although Sosma was currently in the final stages of study for possible abolition, its provisions could still be used to combat organised crime involving serious offences under Chapter VIB of the Penal Code.