Rent-a-gun gang busted

Jalaluddin (centre) showing the seized pistols and fake gun.

MALAYSIA - State police chief Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the suspects were believed to have been renting out guns.

He said the police forensics team would determine the ballistic capability of the guns and whether they matched recent shootings, including cases involving two teachers.

On July 8, Hashim Mat Zain, 45, the senior assistant of SK Beris Panchor, Bachok, was shot dead while driving out from the school on his way home at about 1.50pm.

Three days earlier, another teacher, Mat Zaki Hashim, 35, of Kampung Kubang Panjang in Pasir Mas, was shot in the neck but survived. He is recuperating at Raja Perempuan Zainab II hospital.

Jalaluddin said the suspects tested positive for drugs and had been remanded for investigation un­­­­­­­der Section 8 of the Firearms Act 1971.

The state police's special investigation unit has an uphill task to stop the entry of the illegal arms being smuggled in from the border.

The proximity of the border towns of Rantau Panjang and Sungai Golok, which are only divided by a 6m-wide river, makes it very easy for smugglers to bring in any type of firearms, including M16 machine guns.

Jalaludin said Kelantan police hadseized five pistols and an M-16 rifle so far this year, compared with six pistols last year and nine in 2011.

"We are working hard to track down criminals who use firearms. We view the shootings very seriously, several units have been formed to tackle the situation," he said, adding that assigned policemen were plain-clothed.