Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - The Royal Malaysia Police has arrested 22 men, including 12 foreigners, for suspected involvement in the self-proclaimed Royal Army of Sulu, which has fought against the Government since 2013 .

The detaining took place as part of Gasak III, an operation organised across Sabah by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) and the police department’s Special Task Force on Organised Crime (STAFOC).

The operation stemmed from months of planning and gathering of intelligence from different sources.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said 20 suspects were arrested from various locations on May 7, and the other two got caught in Ranau region two days later.

According to the CID, of the 22 suspects aged between 22 and 75, 10 are locals, two have birth certificates, one has a social visit pass, and nine others without any related documents.

The suspects are being held at police headquarters in the state capital of Sabah – Kota Kinabalu.

Further investigations are underway to find out more about suspected links between these people and the self-claimed Sulu force.-VNA