KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 –The hand grenade attack at a nightclub in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday was targeted at the kingpin of Gang 21. The gang boss known as “Ah Hai”, The Star reported today, has led the underworld gang for more than 20 years. The 53-year-old has been running illegal businesses, including gambling, in Kuala Lumpur, the daily reported, quoting a source. “Ah Hai” has police record for offences related to drugs as well, the source said. “He was targeted because of an ongoing turf war with rival gangs,” a source told The Star yesterday.

At 4.25am on Thursday, a blast went off in front of the Cherry Blossom nightclub in Jalan Bukit Bintang, killing a car jockey and injuring 13.  The Star reported that Ah Hai was at the scene but managed to escape unhurt when the second hand grenade thrown from the second floor of the building failed to go off. Police had ruled out terrorism and linked the blast to the underworld as the area was known for vice activities. Police said they were looking for the culprit who threw the grenades. The suspect, they said, had gone into hiding.

The Star reported that “Ah Hai” was trying to legitimise his operation by branching out into businesses such as property development and food imports. The source said the gang boss stopped certain illegal activities years ago. “He could have angered rival gangs when he encroached into their territory while expanding his business ventures.” Meanwhile, family members of car jockey Tiong Kwang Yie, 36, declined to be interviewed when met at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary yesterday. The Star reported that the deceased’s wife and eight-year-old son had flown in from Sibu to claim the body.A hospital spokesperson said four victims of the blast – a Malaysian and three Chinese na­­tio­­nals – were still being treated at the hospital.

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