Message claiming robbers waiting for S'poreans outside JB malls is fake: Johor police chief

Johor police chief said the crime rate in Johor has been declining.

Faris Alfiq | November 25, 2021, 02:52 PM

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A message has been spreading like wildfire on a messaging platform claiming that motorcycle robbers are waiting for Singaporeans outside shopping malls in Johor Bahru.

In response to the widely circulated message, the Johor police released a statement on Nov. 24 on its Facebook page stating that it is fake news.

False message claims robbers waiting outside malls

The Facebook post contained a screenshot of the message circulating, with the word "false" written over it

The message claimed that as Singapore reopens its land borders with Malaysia, "hundreds of motorcycle robbers" are waiting outside shopping malls for tourists from Singapore.

If Singaporean tourists do not surrender their money or belongings to these alleged robbers, "they will take out their knives and slash" them.

The message further claimed that the robbers had "nothing to eat for a long time" and that the police "turn a blind eye" as there are too many of them.

The message added: "Singaporeans desperate for [cheaper] things in Johor will be facing their worst nightmare."

Other than the viral message, a video was also uploaded by a Facebook user Samuel Oh on Nov. 22, showing a snatch theft incident outside City Square mall in Johor Bahru, a popular mall among Singaporeans.

The video, however, is believed to be from a film shoot and not an actual snatch theft.

Someone was counting down and yelled "action" at the 15-second mark of the video.

Johor police chief says message fake news

Johor police chief, Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, said in a police statement uploaded to the Johor Police Facebook page that the message being circulated is fake.

Khan reminded members of the public to not believe in information without checking its authenticity.

"The police will take firm actions on irresponsible parties who spread false information or fake news," he said in the statement.

Overall crime rate falling in Johor

In the statement, Khan also provided an overview of the crime situation in Johor in 2021.

He said that overall, the crime rate in Johor has been "under control" and there has been a decline in the crimes happening in the state.

According to him, the crime rate index in Johor has dropped by as much as 36.7 per cent in 2021.

He said that property crime fell 41.4 per cent while violent crime fell by 32.2 per cent.

Khan added that the number of robberies fell by 125 cases, and theft of motorcycles fell by 1,099 cases, compared to the year before.

"The Johor police will continue its aggressive crime prevention efforts to stamp down on crimes in Johor to ensure that Johor will be a safe place to live and visit," Khan said in the statement.

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Top images via Mothership and Polis Johor/Facebook