Home Ministry to come down hard on officers involved in illegal firearms sale

Kelly Koh

MALACCA: The Home Ministry will not tolerate any abuse of power among the armed forces, nor will it protect them from prosecution if found to be involved in the illegal sale and purchase of firearms.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said immediate measures would be taken to address any such case, including the incident of shotguns reported missing from the People's Volunteer Corps (Rela)'s inventory in Perak recently.

"(Kudos) to the police and Rela's enforcement unit for noticing the misappropriation of (shotguns) during a recent audit in Selama, Perak.

"The Home Ministry will not protect (the culprits), let alone compromise (on its principles when dealing with) such an act," Zahid said at the launch of the Home Ministry’s Open Day at its complex in Ayer Keroh, here today.

Zahid added that the ministry has taken steps, including forming a new task force as an addition to Rela's firearms management, with its weaponry secretariat adhering to standard operating procedures.

He added that there are long and short-term plans to better manage firearms in the future.

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said 12 people, including buyers and Rela officers, aged between 40 and 60, were arrested for their involvement in the sale and purchase of Rela firearms.

"Based on investigations, we identified 26 missing firearms, although initially, we counted 44 missing firearms.

"Of the missing 26, we have recovered 11, and arrested 12 people from the northern part of the country.

"We plan to make several more arrests in Selangor," Khalid said, and urged those who purchased the firearms to surrender to the police.

It was reported today that police arrested six men in Kedah and Perak for their involvement in the sale and purchase of firearms. It followed the discovery, earlier this month, that 44 Rela firearms in Selama, Perak, had gone missing.