Myanmar murders in Penang due to personal grudges: Police

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The recent murders involving Myanmar nationals in Penang have nothing to do with the ethnic tension back in their country.

Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Abdul Rahim Hanafi said investigations carried out on the 17 Myanmar nationals, aged between 20s and 40s, arrested over the past two weeks confirmed that the murders were not a spillover of the ethnic conflict.

"The motive was personal grudges from when they were still in their country," he said, adding that most of the Myanmar nationals who came to Penang were from the same village or town.

"I urge Penangites not to worry as the police have everything under control," he said on Sunday.

"We hope to make more arrests and solve more cases in the next few days," SDCP Abdul Rahim added.

Last week, police raided a single-storey house in Kampung Pisang, Machang Bubok in Bukit Mertajam, which was apparently used as a slaughter house.

Of the suspects nabbed so far, the last two were picked up on the island last Thursday night.

Following the arrests, police believe they have solved eight murder cases among 18 involving Myanmar nationals in the state this year.

The murders came to light following discoveries of human body parts on the mainland and in the island.