'Arsenal of weapons' seized in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Police have seized an 'arsenal' of imitation weapons following the arrest of a 30-year-old hotel supervisor here.

Sabah police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said they seized 31 assorted air guns closely resembling pistols, rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers and even a land mine worth some RM45,000 (S$17,350) following the man's arrest on Nov 27.

Also recovered from the man's house at Kalombong, Inanam here were related accessories such as magazines, gas canisters, scopes, weapons parts and even a garrotin cable.

He said the man was the distributor of the imitation weapons he bought from a Chinese national only known to him as 'Lao Pan' or Boss.

Jalaluddin said the Chinese national was believed to have brought in the imitation weapons from his home country as well as Taiwan.

"We are on the hunt for this foreigner and we think he is still in Malaysia," he told the media here Saturday.

Police were also tracking down those who had bought the air guns from the hotel supervisor whom Jalaluddin described as an expert in the handling and repairing the imitation weapon.

"Our initial investigations show that the man had sold about 30 similar weapons to buyers from around Sabah including those living in Kota Kinabalu, Kota Marudu, Sandakan and Sibu in Sarawak," he said.

Jalaluddin said the man was believed to have started distributing the imitation weapons in 2009 and had claimed to police that his motive was purely for hobby and collecting purposes.

"We are continuing to check on this and we want to see if what are the motives of his buyers since this involve a large amount of weapons," he added.

He said the arrest and seizure was a breakthrough for a special team comprising the state police headquarters and city police investigating a spate of shootings of business premises and vehicles in Kota Kinabalu over the past year.

Jalaluddin said there had been 45 cases of properties being damaged when unknown individuals armed with air guns shot at shot at glass panes of banks, hotels, eateries and shopping malls in the downtown area, Penampang and Inanam.