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Struck by fatal heart attack during arson

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DEADLY RESULT: Senior Customs officer dies trying to save his car after neighbour's house set on fire

JOHOR BARU: A 54-YEAR-OLD senior Johor Customs officer suffered a fatal heart attack after two homes occupied by his staff here were torched by arsonists.

The attackers threw flammable items, believed to be Molotov cocktails, at the houses in Taman Pelangi and Taman Pulai Perdana around 4am yesterday.

It was believed to be in retaliation for the department's recent operations.

Johor Customs deputy director (compliance unit) Ahmad Hassan, 54, was staying next door of the double-storey semi-detached house that came under attack at the department's quarters in Taman Pelangi.

He suffered a heart attack while trying to save his car by driving it out of his home.

The affected house was occupied by two department officers and the fire damaged a Proton Savvy and the building's front facade.

It is learnt that the attack occurred a few hours after the officers returned home from duty at 1.30am.

Larkin Fire and Rescue Services Department head Deputy Superintendent M. Vijayan said the two men escaped unhurt.

In the second attack at Taman Pulai Perdana, a 40-something Customs officer and his family managed to extinguish the fire without calling for help.

Johor Baru South deputy police chief Superintendent Abdul Samad Salleh said they were investigating the motive and the cause of the fire, and had not made any arrest yet.

Customs deputy director-general (enforcement and compliance) Datuk Matrang Suhaili said they were shocked over Ahmad's death and the double attack on his men.

The burnt car in front of the double-storey semi-detached house that came under attack at the Customs quarters in Taman Pelangi yesterday. Pic by Zain Ahmed


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