Gang leader done in by sidekick’s betrayal

10 Jul 2020 / 13:52 H.

A HARDENED criminal comparable to the infamous Botak Chin, Ahmad Mohd Arshad (pix) had pulled off 52 heists with his band of bandits between 2001 and 2002.

Ahmad, better known as Mat Komando, made a living as a driver but he was no common man.

He was a former soldier, who was trained as a commando in the 90s but just two years after serving the army, exasperation set in.

He had enough with the regimented life of a soldier and decided to call it quits.

A job-hopper, Ahmad went on to do menial jobs in his hometown in Kedah before he decided to work as a driver.

For years he drove lorries, buses and taxis but when he found his earnings were barely enough to feed his wife and son, he turned to crime.

Then aged 35, Ahmad recruited a dozen friends and acquaintances before forming Gang 13.

They acquired firearms and pulled off their first heist at an office of an oil palm plantation in 2001, where they made off with tens of thousands of ringgit stored in a vault.

Happy with the takings, it was the beginning of a crime spree for Mat Komando and his gang.

They struck more plantation offices, banks and other merchandise stores over a year, raking in more than RM2.5 million.

By then, the police, who were tracking Ahmad and his accomplices, had formed a task force to put an end to their crimes.

However, it was a daunting task as he had an uncanny ability of evading the authorities.

While this is believed to be from skills he acquired during military training, others claimed Ahmad practised black magic, which enabled him to “disappear” momentarily.

The cat-and-mouse game went on before police got wind that Ahmad was taking a holiday at a resort at Pedu Lake, Kuala Nerang in Kedah with his family and gang members in January 2002. An ambush was launched and it led to a fierce gun battle between the criminals and police.

Three members of Ahmad’s gang were killed and several others were arrested but he managed to escape into a thick jungle next to the resort.

Over the next 10 days, hundreds of police personnel and expert jungle trackers searched for him, to no avail.

The search was called off and over the next six months, Ahmad remained in hiding until he reappeared in Negri Sembilan, where he pulled off a robbery.

At that point, Ahmad, who was often pulling of crimes single-handedly, realised police were closing in on him – the result of inside information from Ahmad’s sidekick Mohd Syukri Husin.

When Ahmad learnt of the betrayal of his gang member, he went looking for Mohd Syukri and found him in Baling, Kedah.

The informant was beaten but managed to escape before providing police with more information on Ahmad’s whereabouts.

On Sept 12, 2002, a large team of police commandos from the VAT69 unit pursued the fugitive, who was hiding in a dilapidated shack at Felcra Kampung Hujung Ketun in Pendang. A shootout ensued and Ahmad, who suffered gunshots to his head and chest, was found dead clutching a pistol and a revolver in each hand.

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Gang leader done in by sidekick’s betrayal

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