State Police Commissioner Datuk Pahlawan Hamza Taib said the majority of the suspects aged between 20s and 50s were locals while the rest foreigners without any valid identification documents.
"Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 2, seven men were arrested whereby six were released on police bail while one local man was charged in a Session Court for possessing an eight-inch knife.
"On Feb. 17, we made another 10 arrests where majority were locals and they are still being remanded with hope that they will shed light on the case," he said at a press conference after opening the police monthly assembly at the Sabah Police headquarters in Kepayan on Tuesday.
According to him, they have received 50 reports cum investigation papers (IPS) which have been opened as investigations on the case is being carried out on full scale.
"We know who are involved in the caseÉand we are in the midst of compiling the evidence.
We are also waiting for POCA (Prevention of Crime Act) 20134 to be gazetted as this law has been approved by Parliament and the Senate.
"It is something like Emergency Ordinance (E.O) and Internal Security Act (ISA) where when a person is arrested, he or she will send to a detention centre. However, it is still different from EO and ISA as POCA will has the judicial detention," he said.
To a question, Hamza said the 17 people were arrested around Sabah like in the city and Penampang here where handphones, documents, and weapons, among others were seized from their houses and cars.
While not revealing the motive, he said the police are still investigating the case as there are 50 IPs that have been opened.