Cheap gunmen for hire

PETALING JAYA, July 9 — The recent spate of violent crimes nationwide has brought to light the ease with which one can engage a hired killer.

While none of the cases may be linked, except for the involvement of assassins, the incidents have raised more than just eyebrows.

Former Selangor deputy police chief Datuk Khoo Ah See shared with Malay Mail some insights into the underworld and the shady dealings involved in engaging the services of a hired killer.

These hit men, Khoo said, could be described as either professionals or amateurs, with both being equally merciless.

“Both types of killers would get the job done. The difference would be the method in which the execution is carried out,” he said.

In the 1990s, professional murderers could charge in excess of RM100,000 per kill, while amateurs, or “hooligans” as he refers to them, would charge around RM5,000 per job.

“The rates almost always depend on the importance, and social position of the intended target. Either way, they are only interested in the money,” he said.

A higher price buys the services of a killer with higher proficiency, as opposed to a messy amateur.

“Professional killers would operate very methodically, where it is almost guaranteed that only the intended target would be hit,” Khoo said.

He said amateur killers, who were normally very messy with their methods, would get the job done in a rush and most of the time would strike innocent bystanders as well.

In the shooting of Datin Wong Siu Ling on Wednesday, Khoo said it was clear from the police report that it wasn’t a professional who carried out the killing.

“One of the most obvious indication was the involvement of an accomplice.

“The use of an accomplice could be seen as a sign of weakness, as professional killers normally get the job done alone, without being noticed or exposing themselves to risks,” he said.

During his days in the force, Khoo said it was a known fact that hired killers demanded at least 30 per cent as down payment before the task was undertaken.

The balance would be paid on completion of the job.

“I am not 100 per cent sure this is still the way things are being done these days, but the deals would not stray too far from practice,” he said

Besides amateur killers being messy in their methods, Khoo said they also had the tendency to expose who hired them if they get caught.

“The amateur killers can be pressed into revealing who ordered the murder, even after they have been paid to keep silent.

“At that time, the amateurs could not care less about their paymasters, and would only worry about clearing their own name,” he said.

Khoo said hired killers were usually recommended through word of mouth.

“There is no catalogue of these killers for everyone to see. The ones who need this service would know where to source them from,” he said.