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Illegal gunsmiths in police crosshairs

14th August, 2019


KOTA KINABALU: Police Special Investigation Division (D9) has hit the bullseye with a hoard of seizures in home-made firearms and live ammunition together with the arrests of eight suspected gunsmiths and dealers in Ranau last Tuesday.

Sabah Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Zaini Jass said a series of raids aimed at stopping the threat resulted in the State’s biggest illegal gun bust.

“A police unit arrested a 61-year-old man in the lower level of his home at Kampung Kinaratuan at about 2.30am where they found four bakakuks (home-made shotguns) and 26 multiple coloured bore shells inside a bag.

“As they made their way up the house, another 41-year-old man was arrested in possession of an air rifle, an air Glock pistol, 39 9mm bullets, 506 .22 bullets, 611 5.56mm bullets and buckshots along with hundreds of empty .22 and 12 bore jackets,” he told a press conference at the Kepayan Police Headquarters.

One of the suspects in custody guided police to a storage room behind the house that had been converted into a workshop for the guns.

Found inside were half made and completed bakakuks along with gun components and power tools believed to be used for its production.

He also led police to a shed about 150 metres away from the house to the arrest of a 29-year-old man who owned a Steven air rifle along with various ammunitions.

Police continued to raid homes in Kampung Tanah Merah, Kapatahan in Bundu Tuhan, Debut and Lohan Ulu on the following day based on information provided by the suspects, landing the arrests of four more individuals aged 46 to 83 years.

“A Remington Speedmaster semi-automatic rifle, two air rifles, and a home-made revolver and various ammunitions were seized.

“A 30-year-old man working at the guard post of the Lok Kawi army camp was arrested to aid in investigations,” Zaini added.

All suspects are placed under remand except for two of them who were released on police bail.

The case is being investigated under Section 7 of the Firearms Act (Increased Penalties) 1971 for trafficking firearms which punishment warrants death or life imprisonment with no less than six strokes of the cane.

Also in attendance were Special Investigation Division chief SAC Datuk Suhaimi Deraman and Ranau police chief DSP Shahrul Wahab.

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