PETALING JAYA - It's been 10 months since Ops Cantas Khas was launched, long enough for gangsters to emerge from hiding and return to gangland-style shooting and killings again.
However, police say the gangsters have got it wrong as the force is on top of things, vowing that lawlessness will never return.
At least eight shootings occurred this year, the latest when wholesaler Abd Ghani Abdullah, 50, was shot by a man on a motorcycle as he was walking from the car park to his meat stall at the Kajang Market yesterday. He survived the attack.
Abd Ghani, who claims to be a Sulu Datuk, was critically wounded on his left shoulder and below his right ear after he was shot twice in the 6.30am incident.
Kajang OCPD Asst Comm Ab Rashid Ab Wahab said a passer-by who witnessed the incident contacted the police after the shooter sped off.
Wholesaler Abd Ghani Abdullah being wheeled into the Kajang Hospital after he was shot while walking from the car park to his meat stall at the Kajang Market.
Apparently, gangsters packed their bags and left the country when Ops Cantas Khas, aimed at weeding out gang elements, began.
However, some gangs have been lurking in the shadows and are now trying to regroup.
Sources revealed that one such group - Gang 36 - held clandestine gatherings in some parts of the country on June 3 to commemorate the forming of their gang.
It is also learnt that some Gang 36 members who had gone hiding in neighbouring countries were back for the "reunion".
However, Bukit Aman assured the public that all is still well.
"Only remnants of the gangs are trying to launch sneak attacks on rival gangs, nothing more," said Federal CID deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk Mazlan Mansor.
"They are of the impression Ops Cantas Khas has been scaled down. Mark my words - the gangs cannot come back. Ops Cantas Khas is still on.
"Our men are working day and night to ensure gangs do not make a comeback," DCP Mazlan told The Star yesterday.
He said gangsters were extra cautious as the police now had the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) as one of their main ammunition.
"We cannot publicise it as much as we cannot share our tools of the trade. We will strike at any remnants of the gangs when they least expect it," he said.
Federal Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division (D7) principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Roslee Chik said 134 people, mostly gang members, had been arrested under the amended PCA since April 2.
"Of the number, 38 people were issued with Restricted Residence orders by the Crime Prevention Board while 24 were in the process of being re-charged.
"The remaining suspects are still in detention," he said.
SAC Roslee said the PCA had come in handy in putting dangerous and violent criminals behind bars.
Ops Cantas Khas has contributed to a decrease in gang activities. Murder was reduced from 504 cases to 433 cases, while armed robbery dropped from 83 to 54.
Gang robberies have also gone down from 13,533 cases to 12,048, with crimes involving firearms going down to 14 cases from 20.
A total of 9,659 types of firearms, explosive material, weapons and ammunition were seized throughout the special operation.