(File pix) Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the men were high on police's wanted list. Pix by Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

KUALA LUMPUR: Four foreign men, believed to have connections with the Islamic State (IS) terror group, were arrested in Sandakan, Sabah on Monday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the men were high on police's wanted list.

“The four men were foreigners from a neighbouring country.

“They were believed to have come to Sandakan to use it as a transit point to enter the southern Philippines,” he told a press conference today.

It has yet to be ascertained whether the men were arrested as they were slipping into the country or as they were crossing into southern Philippines.

He said the men, aged between 31 and 40, were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).

Fuzi however did not elaborate on the arrests.

Meanwhile, on an unrelated matter, Fuzi said police have increased its engagement with the community in a bid to combat criminal activities especially street crime.

He said police aim to reduce the number of street crimes especially pickpocket and snatch theft cases.

“Nationwide, the crime rate has reduced to 13.5 per cent. Almost all states have lower crime rates except for Sabah.

“I have ordered police in all states and districts to cooperate, not only using policing elements but also with non-governmental organisations to ensure that the crime rate is continuously reduced,” he said.

In the city centre, between Jan and Dec, the crime rate had dropped by 24.99 per cent but street crime seen little increase.

Asked if there were elements of syndicates behind street crime, Fuzi replied in the affirmative but said it is not at a worrying level.

Fuzi was speaking after a community policing event at a shopping mall here.

Also present were KL police chief Datuk Mazlan Lazim.

Mazlan had previously said there were 16 hotspots in the city centre for street crime, especially at tourist areas such as Bukit Bintang.

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