Police have detained 34 members of the Pelahu community who were begging at two traffic light intersections in Lahad Datu
According to The Star, they were apprehended in a one-hour operation dubbed Ops COVID-19 on Saturday, 13 March.
The incident took place at Jalan Bunga Raya and Bandar Sri Perdana and the detainees are made up of nine women along with 25 children.
It is said that they were nabbed for begging without wearing face masks and failure to practise physical distancing.
It was initially reported that police have issued RM10,000 fines to the nine women for not wearing face masks.
However, police clarified that they are only investigating the women and have yet to issue fines.
Lahad Datu police chief ACP Rohan Shah Ahmad told Sinar Harian that investigation papers have been opened following the arrest of the nine women.
He said, "No compounds had been issued by the district police headquarters to the nine Pelahu women. Investigations are being carried out according to Section 269 of the Penal Code, Regulation 17 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within The Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020, as well as Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63."
The case will be referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for further action
According to Borneo Today, if found guilty under Section 269 of the Penal Code, the women can be liable to a fine, imprisonment of up to six months, or both.
Meanwhile, the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within The Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020 carries a maximum fine of RM10,000, imprisonment of up to six months, or both.
Remember to #JustStayAtHome. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation here.
Individuals who violate COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) enforced by the government can now be fined up to RM10,000: