Police have arrested 10 Facebook owners so far this year in Sarawak for various acts of social media abuse.

State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief, Datuk Dev Kumar said most of the offences committed by Facebook owners in Sarawak were posting false news and defamatory statements.

"Despite repeated warnings by police, some netizens continue to flout the law by posting news in the social media, of crime incidents that never took place," he said in a statement today.

Dev Kumar said the false news circulated fast and unnecessarily creating fear and apprehension among the community.

"Once a police report has been lodged against a Facebook account, it would be a matter of time before we trace and arrest the owner," he said.

His statement came after the latest arrest of a 23-year-old car mechanic in Miri for posting fake news of a rape and murder case yesterday.

The posting claimed that a woman had been raped, murdered and dumped near a fast food restaurant in Miri city.

A police report on the posting was lodged yesterday morning and the suspect was arrested at 11.30 last night.

Dev Kumar said the suspect was being investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

If convicted under Section 500 of the Penal Code, the suspect may face a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both. -- Bernama