JOHOR BARU, Oct 15, 2015:
Police may have possibly crippled a suspected “assassination squad” that specialised in contract killings today following the arrest of two men and the recovery of four handguns in two separate locations in Skudai here late yesterday.
It was learnt that the two suspects, in their 40s, were part of a “gun-for-hire” gang that was said to be responsible for several fatal shootings in south Johor since April this year.
The group, which conducted its business within underground circles, was known to be ruthless with trigger-happy individuals.
Investigations also revealed that the gang were closely linked to the Gang 21 secret society, which was also believed to be involved in other criminal activities such as drug dealing.
Yesterday night saw several police teams, consisting of Bukit Aman’s Special Task Force On Organised Crime (Stafoc) and Johor Baru Utara police personnel from various divisions, conducting the two-hour operation that started at 9.30pm.
During the operation, police raided a home in Taman Seri Orkid where they seized three semi-automatic pistols.
Following that, police were led to another home in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah, where the team recovered another pistol of the same calibre.
It was learnt that several high-powered Glock 9mm handguns were among the pistols seized.
In a tweet at 11.48pm yesterday, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar congratulated the Stafoc and Johor teams for the success.
“Syabas STAFOC dan JSJ Johor @PDRMsia tadi berjaya merampas 4 pucuk pistol di Tmn Skudai, JBaru dari ahli Kump Penjenayah. Go PDRM Go” (“Congratulations STAFOC and JSJ Johor @PDRMsia just now succeeded in seizing four pistols in Taman Skudai, Johor Baru, from criminal gang members”) read the tweet from the country’s top cop, which is believed to be related to the arrests and seizures.
An informed source, familiar with the investigations, said the two suspects were believed to be part of a contract killer group.
“The suspects were arrested yesterday following the recent arrest of another one of their gang members in connection with the kidnap-cum-murder of a 22-year-old businessman two weeks ago,” said the source to The Rakyat Post today.
The source said investigations were still on-going as three of the suspects were also said to have been involved in shootings in other states.
“So far, investigators have linked the three suspects to five shooting cases in south Johor.
“Two in Kulai, one in Nusajaya and two in the Johor Baru Selatan district,” said the source, adding that there was a possibility of more arrests soon.
The source said all four pistols had been sent to the Johor state police contingent headquarters here for analysis.
The source said the pistols will be checked for their serial number and also undergo a ballistics test to determine if they were used in shooting cases in the state and other states.
Police are expected to hold a media conference once investigations are complete.