KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — In the wake of several murders in the state and nationwide, and a number of attempted murders involving the use of guns, believed to have been smuggled from Thailand, their easy accessibility is a fear factor.
According to a former underworld member, he managed to smuggle semi-automatic 9mm guns, air rifles and some other makes during several trips from Thailand, via Bukit Kayu Hitam, several years ago.
Asked how he had managed to smuggle them, he said it was not difficult as long as one followed a few simple rules.
The rules were easy, he noted. Dismantle the guns; act cool and be friendly; always move about in a group; and, use family cars as chances of smuggling firearms while driving alone has poorer chance of success.
“At the customs check-point, its officers only conduct hand checks and they will only target you if you act suspiciously.
“There are no metal detectors or x-ray equipment to ensure those passing the border are not smuggling anything. On a scale of one to five, on how easy it is (to smuggle firearms), I would say two,” said the former criminal.
He also said that in a certain neighbouring country, guns were sold almost everywhere like hot cakes, and if the buyer knew exactly where to go and what type of gun he sought, the entire ‘transaction’ could be done in less than three days.
“A good quality semi-automatic gun costs about RM2,500 (about 22,000 bhat) and the live bullets (50 in a box) are sold at less than RM100. As for high-end guns, they can fetch between RM8,000 and RM10,000,” he said.
Besides the weak enforcement at the border, a local arms dealer who wants only to be known as Amir, said if potential smugglers knew which government officers could be bribed, guns could be smuggled much easier, even without the hassle of dismantling them or face the risk of getting caught.
“Know the right person, who to bribe and their working hours. They will bring into the country the firearms, and all you need to do is just pay them,” he said.
According to reliable sources, it is easy to smuggle not just guns but also people across the border.
They acknowledged that people could pass through, with just a friendly smile to enter and exit Danok, Thailand as Danok was meant for Malaysians and in between Malaysia and the Thai border, there was a gap of almost one kilometre, known as ‘No Man’s Land’.
In the gap, there are duty-free shops and a golf course, and there are also areas dubbed ‘rat trails’ where groups would smuggle items into the country, which is the main ‘port’ for smuggling.
One of the sources admitted nabbing a person emerging from a car boot while playing golf in the evening near the Malaysian-Thai border.
He claimed the best method to smuggle items into the country was to buy or collect them after the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex as they had already passed all the necessary checks.
“Hundreds of lorries pass through the complex daily and we do not have the equipment to check them individually to ensure no smuggling occurs. Besides, those tasked with monitoring the border are committing acts of corruption.”
Stressing that criminals will always find a way to beat the system, he said the police had done the best they could to protect the country.
Of late, police investigations found the handiwork of contract killers in several murder or attempted murder cases nationwide.
The police have arrested two suspected hired killers in connection with the murder of real estate agent Datin Wong Siu Ling. She was shot dead at Taman OUG, Kuala Lumpur on July 6.
According to news reports, a Glock 8 pistol, allegedly used by the suspects to kill Wong had been used in two murders and an attempted murder in Perak last year.
On July 27, moneylender V. Kandasamy was gunned down near Setapak Central by two men armed with firearms.
The 43-year-old, suspected to be linked to the underworld, was shot 16 times by the gunmen who had earlier arrived in motorcycles with two other accomplices.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has not denied the existence of cases purportedly involving contract killers. — AFP