KUALA LUMPUR: Before the Special Task Force on Organised Crime and the Special Tactical Intelligence Narcotics Group came to be, all efforts to fight organised crime fell on the shoulders of the Criminal Investigation Department’s Serious Crime unit.
The division, known as D9, was formed in 1970 following an increase in Chinese secret society activities.
Armed with obsolete firearms, such as Sterling 9mm submachine guns, Colt M1911 semi-automatic pistols and .38 revolvers, the men of D9 fought in high-risk operations against organised crime groups.
Federal Criminal Investigation Department deputy director (intelligence/operations) Datuk Huzir Mohamed said serious crimes were a big problem until the creation of D9, which had young, dedicated and capable policemen.
“In the 1980s, we saw an increase in secret societies in Malay and Indian communities. It was worrying as there were murders of innocent people and attacks against police.
“This pushed the force to beef up D9 in terms of assets, issuing them with HK MP5 submachine guns, which are in use today, and other equipment.”
He said D9’s successes meant they were constantly targeted by organised crime groups and faced threats daily.
“These are the risks that every policeman knows come with the job in D9. They are willing to put their lives on the line to ensure the security of the nation and public peace at any time or place.”
An early D9 success was the take down of what some people called the Malaysian Robin Hood gang, led by the notorious Botak Chin.
Chin and his gang were hunted down by the Magnificent 12, a group of policemen who became famous for their dedication to their duty, intelligence and bravery.
Led by Assistant Superintendents Gui Poh Choon and Kenny Woodworth, the Magnificent 12 shot dead two members of the gang and wounded two others, including Chin, on Feb 12, 1976.
In 1992, the D9 unit arrested the leader of Geng Komando and its members in a raid following an attack on several policemen.
A year later, D9 was instrumental in the tracking down of notorious criminal Bentong Kali, though he died at the hands of a Special Action Unit team in Damansara.
In 2010, a D9 team solved the disappearance of cosmetics millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya when their investigation led to the fact that she had been killed and her remains burnt.
Five years later, D9 and Stafoc members solved the kidnapping and murder of deputy public prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais.