KUALA LUMPUR: A 55-year-old Datuk Seri and 21 others claimed trial to being members of the infamous 'Geng 24' in Penang at the High Court here today.
The 22 men who were handcuffed together merely pleaded not guilty to the charge read to them separately in Mandarin before judicial commissioner Datuk Ab Karim Ab Rahman.
The courtroom was fully occupied by family members and friends of the accused.
They were Datuk Seri Ng Chian Sia, Teh Swee Chin, 31, Bee Hooi Siang, 44, Eee Ching Hock, 47, Jeremy Cheng Yee Fun, 34, Mah Chee Seng, 46, Yeoh Kah Man, 26, Goh Chun Shien, 36, Ng Ah Boey, 37, Yeoh Choon Hin, 37, Teng Kok Haw, 26, Lim Leong Huat, 27, Chee Chia Heng, 32, Song Wai Hon, 33, Teoh Jong Yow, 36, Yeoh Choon Hong, 45, Lee Chew Hong, 40, Tan Soo Ching, 36, Teh Hang Beng, 38, Tang Soon Poh, 24, Teoh Chin Yeow, 24, and Teng Kok Loon, 29.
They were charged with being members of an organised criminal group 'Geng 24 Pulau Pinang' in Timur Laut, Penang between Jan 1, 2015 and Jan 29, this year.
Their charged under Section 130 V (1) of the Penal Code carries an imprisonment of at least five years and not more than 20 years, if convicted.
No bail were allowed on the accused as the case fell under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).
The court fixed May 4 for mention.
Deputy public prosecutors Mohd Izhanudin Alias and Muhammad Fadzlan Mohd Noor prosecuted.
Ng was represented by counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and Rahmat Hazlan while brothers Choon Hin and Choon Hong were represented by counsel Ashok Athimulan.
Choon Hin was also represented by Datuk Micheal K.L Chee and the others were represented by counsel Datuk Ranjit Singh and Tan Guan Cheng.