IPOH, Nov 3 — Police have smashed a Macau Scam syndicate which was responsible for 76 cheating cases involving RM11 million after they raided a condominium in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur.
Perak acting police chief Datuk Goh Boon Keng said this was the first time a Malaysia-based Macau Scam syndicate preying on locals had been smashed.
Twenty-two Malaysians including four women aged between 18 and 27 were nabbed in the operation at 5pm on October 30, jointly conducted by personnel from the Perak and Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Departments, he told a press conference here today.
Police also seized various equipment used by the syndicate, including 34 handphones, laptop computers and cars, and prepared scripts for conversation in Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin to cheat victims.
“Police believe the two-year-old syndicate was operating overseas previously but returned to Malaysia because of Covid-19, and could not leave the country due to the movement control order (MCO).
“This is the first time police have smashed a Macau Scam syndicate with a calling centre in Malaysia and cheating victims in Malaysia. Previous syndicates had calling centres in Malaysia but targeted victims overseas or were based outside the country but preyed on victims in Malaysia,” he added.
He said the special operation squad had been keeping surveillance on the syndicate for a week, after a woman in Bandar Cyber here reported on October 19 that she had been conned of RM67,000 by one so-called Insp Leong from Sabah who had threatened her with arrest for allegedly laundering RM148,000.
“Acting out of fear, she made two transfers of RM43,000 and RM24,000 to an account as instructed before realising that she had been cheated,” he added.
Goh said police would apply to extend the four-day remand of the 22 suspects which expires today.
He advised the people to be wary of people who asked them to transfer money after threatening them with arrest over the telephone.
“Police will never ask people to transfer money from one account to another,” he added.