Desperate buyers drive thriving black market for firearms in Malaysia

Analyst proposes solution to black market firearms

17 Apr 2024 10:17am
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Canva
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Canva
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PUTRAJAYA - Firearms from neighbouring countries are fuelling the black market in Malaysia due to high demand and lax disposal practices, according to defence and geostrategic analyst Muhammad Fuad Mat Noor.

Fuad described that while most of these firearms should have been disposed of, some irresponsible parties refurbish and replace their components with new ones before selling them.

He stressed that the disposal process is sometimes poorly monitored, leading to the circulation of these weapons.

He noted that the local firearms market has become saturated, leading sellers to turn to the Malaysian black market to offload their stock.

“There's no fixed price for firearm sales, but they typically fetch around RM2,000 to RM3,000 per unit,” he told Sinar.

Buyers, he emphasised, are often driven by desperation for various purposes, including violence and hired killings.

"We need to remember that those who purchase are certainly desperate to own firearms for their own use, whether it's for killing, revenge, hired killings, and so on.

"So, the price depends on the seller. Whatever price they set, buyers will pay," he said.

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Fuad pointed out that automatic firearms are particularly popular in the black market due to their higher capacity.

He also mentioned that their compact size makes pistols easier to smuggle.

On border control, Fuad suggested the establishment of community guard force systems comprising local residents along the country's borders.

He noted that these individuals possess valuable knowledge of the terrain and could serve as additional eyes and ears for law enforcement.

"In the past, we had this force to be the eyes and ears of the authorities and they were equipped with firearms.

"The national borders are vast, and these local people know the ins and outs of the back roads, and they are more familiar with each other.

"Certainly, licences for firearm ownership for this force need to be accompanied by strict conditions to prevent misuse," he said.

The insights come after Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain revealed that the semi-automatic pistol used in the recent KLIA 1 shooting incident was believed to have been illegally obtained from a neighbouring country.

On top of that, an Israeli man was arrested in Kuala Lumpur on March 27 for possessing several firearms and ammunition allegedly acquired from Thailand using cryptocurrency before being sold locally.