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Fake bomb threats sent to Johor government agencies

JOHOR BAHRU – Three government agencies in Johor Bahru received fake bomb threats that were sent via e-mail on the morning of Feb 12.

Johor Bahru South police chief Assistant Commissioner Raub Selamat said that staff noticed the e-mails after returning to work from their holiday.

“The e-mails were sent to the Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB), Johor police headquarters, and the Johor court complex.

“So far, we received police reports from (only) the Johor police headquarters and MBJB,” he said when contacted.

ACP Raub added that the e-mail was believed to have been sent by the same person using the same e-mail address and text.

“We have cleared and conducted inspections at the MBJB office while the police headquarters and court complex have deployed their own emergency response team.

“So far, we have found nothing suspicious, and I urged members of the public to remain calm,” he added.

ACP Raub added that the case is being investigated under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for the offence of improper use of network facilities.

Earlier, the MBJB corporate and public relations department said in a statement that the agency had received a bomb threat via e-mail.

The e-mail was received in the morning and was sent under the name “Takahiro Karawasa”.

“Following the e-mail, the council filed a police report with the Johor Bahru South District Police Headquarters.

“All staff and members of the public were asked to evacuate the Menara MBJB building and to wait at the assembly area at noon until the police inspection was completed,” it said.

The statement added that there were about 500 people in the building during the incident.

“The public and staff were allowed to re-enter the building at 2pm and resume operations as usual.

“The police have confirmed that the threat was fake, and the Menara MBJB is safe for operation,” it said, adding that operations are running as usual during office hours.

Similar bomb threat e-mails sent under the same name “Takahiro Karawasa” were also delivered to government agencies in the Philippines in 2024 as well as Korea in August 2023.

In response to the e-mails sent in 2023, Mr Karawasa, who is an actual lawyer in Japan, went to social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, to air his grievances.

“This is wrong. I think my name is being misused without my permission. Some extremists are committing these crimes, as these types of offences are sometimes not regulated in Japan,” The Korea Times reported him saying in his post. – THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK