PUTRAJAYA: Drug syndicates and criminal gangs are the main suspects in the cold-blooded murder of Customs deputy director-general Datuk Shaharuddin Ibrahim (pic) a Mr Clean and no-nonsense law enforcement officer.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak revealed that Shaharuddin, 58, was going after certain parties who were uneasy with the strict enforcement by the department while City CID chief Senior Asst CommDatuk Ku Chin Wah said police did not rule out a crime syndicate's involvement theory, adding that it was premature to speculate.
Shaharuddin, who was in charge of the Customs and Internal Tax Unit division and a year away from retirement, left his house in Dengkil at around 7.55am yesterday in a Nissan SUV.
As he was turning at a traffic light at the Lebuh Wawasan-Lebuh Sentosa flyover some 20 minutes later, two men on a motorcycle approached the car from the left and the pillion rider fired three shots with what is believed to be an automatic weapon.
Shaharuddin, who was from Negri Sembilan, had been with the Customs Department for more than 30 years. He gained a reputation as a drug buster and was known for his no-nonsense approach to enforcement. His work earned him the moniker “Mr Clean”.
The incident occurred barely a kilometre from the Putrajaya police headquarters.
“One of the shots hit Shaharuddin's neck. The victim's driver rushed him to the nearby Putrajaya Hospital but he was pronounced dead at about 9.20am,” said SAC Ku.
He said the victim had been sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital for a post-mortem, adding that evidence, including CCTV footages from nearby buildings, would be gathered.
Leaving no stone unturned: Police forensic unit personnel combing the crime scene for evidence at the Lebuh Wawasan-Lebuh Sentosa flyover.
“We must protect our public servants, especially those brave enough to carry out their responsibilities despite the risk. I condemn this incident,” Najib said at a ceremony in Ipoh to present bravery awards to security personnel who had served in Lahad Datu and Semporna.
He urged any witness to come forward to help in investigations.
“It is a norm for Customs officers to get threats but I never thought that my friend would be a victim,” said Peninsular Malaysia Customs Officers Union treasurer Ja'afar Mansor, who had known Shaharuddin since 1982.
“He was a very nice and down-to-earth guy. All the personnel under him loved and respected him,” he said.
Shaharuddin is survived by his wife Datin Rahimah Ibrahim, 58, and two children Suhana, 34, and Mohd Akhtar, 30. He was laid to rest at the Muslim cemetery in Presinct 20.
Suhana's husband Zulkidhi Ismail, 36, said his father-in-law was a strict but loving man who would be greatly missed by the family.