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Tense mood at KL High Court as 'Gang 360 suspects charged

KUALA LUMPUR: A tense atmosphere enveloped the High Court here this morning as 16 people, believed to be members of the notorious ‘Gang 360 Devan’, were charged with being part of an organised crime group.
Heavily-armed policemen, equipped with submachine guns, kept a watchful eye as about 100 people, believed to be family members of the accused, began gathering at the court complex as early as 8am to follow the proceedings.
However, the large crowd was not allowed to enter the courtroom, and could only watch the proceedings through a live broadcast via a large screen set up outside as the court.
The accused - Yasotaran, S. Manimaran, C. Murugan, L. Lengas Seperan, D. R. Yasothararaj, D. Sivanantha, A. Balan, M. Sathia Tamil Siva, P. Sures, P. Murugan, B. Ravindran, K. Ram Kumar, D. Manivannan, S. Logonanthan, S. Maran, M. Murugan - were charged under Section 130V(1) of the Penal Code with being menbers of Gang 360 Devan.
All the accused, if convicted under this section, face up to 20 years in jail.
All of them, aged between 24 and 48, pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them in Tamil by a court translator before judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abdul Razak.
They allegedly committed the offence at Empayer Sdn Bhd, No 1, Jalan Perniagaan Masria 1, Pusat Perniagaan Masria, Batu 9, Cheras, here, between January 2015 and February 2017.
The men were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) 2012.
Under Sosma, an accused is not allowed bail until the disposal of the case. All of them are being detained at the Sungai Buloh Prison.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Saiful Idris Zainuddin, Mohamad Mustaffa, P Kunyalam and Muhammad Fadzlan Mohd Noor, prosecuted while some of the accused were represented by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Datuk Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Joanne Chua, Gerard Lazaruz and Vijay Eswaran.
The court also ordered the 16 to be jointly tried together with 36 others, including Datuk M. Kalai Arasu, who was charged with the same offence at the High Court two month ago.
The court has fixed five days - between Oct 2 and 6 - for the trial.
Gang 360 Devan is said to be a splinter of the notorious Gang 36, which has been linked to a spate of violent crimes, and even high profile murders.

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