PENANG: A 41-year-old man, believed to be the leader of the Ji Lam Chneh (Two Blue Stars) triad, was shot dead in a coffeeshop at the Rifle Range flats here early yesterday.
George Town OCPD Senior Asst Comm II Abdul Wahab Ahmad said the man was having supper with three friends at 2.45am when a man wearing a helmet approached him.
“The man opened fire, hitting the triad leader on the right side of his back. His three friends initially thought that someone had let off a firecracker nearby but had a shock when he suddenly fell off his chair,” he said.
SAC Abdul Wahab said that one of his friends noticed the assailant, who was wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt, running towards a nearby motorcycle before speeding off.
“We are in the dark over the incident, which has been classified as murder, but various motives such as revenge and jealousy have not been ruled out. We are also trying to determine who ordered the hit.
“His three friends, who were with him, and those closest to him have since been interviewed,” he said.
Also at the scene to help in investigations were state major crime chief DSP Lee Moh Le, George Town crime prevention head Insp Mohd Rozi Aziz and several other senior officers.
A post-mortem by forensic pathologist Dr Bhupinder Singh showed that the man died almost instantly as the slug had penetrated his heart and lungs and was lodged in the ribcage.
Checks by the police showed that the deceased was a hardcore triad leader. He was sent to Pulau Jerejak in the 1980s and also to Kelantan in 1998 under the Emergency Ordinance and Restricted Residence Act for gangland activities.
The triad became inactive after his latest banishment and could have been trying to make a comeback lately. He had been working with a loan shark as debt collector since his release in 2000.
The triad, in its heyday, was mainly involved in extortion and fighting with rivals.
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