Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sept, 2018 -- A "Datuk Seri" in his 40s and a 14-year-old were among 99 people involved in a scamming syndicate crippled by the police two days ago.
At a press conference, Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Amar Singh said the scamming syndicate had operated as a call centre in an upmarket office space in KL Sentral and preyed on investors in China.
"When we raided the premises at 1.30pm on Sept 26, we found all of them in the midst of offering investment services to customers in China."
Of the 99 arrested, six are Malaysians while the rest are Chinese nationals. They were arrested under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and offences under the Immigration Act.
The role of the "Datuk Seri" is still being investigated while the 14-year-old’s parents were not at the location.
Amar said investigations were ongoing although it is believed that the syndicate was raking in "millions" each month. He noted that it could afford to pay staff salaries of RM2,500 a month, provide accommodation and pay rental for the "upmarket" office space.
Also seized in the raid were 169 handphones and 114 laptops.
"We’ve found an influx of call centre syndicates in the country. Just last week, we crippled two such syndicates in Johor Bahru," he said, adding that for 2018 alone, the scams, known as "Macau scams" had seen victims lose some RM100 million.
He said the scammers were leveraging on infrastructure, cheap costs, leakage of personal data and voice-over internet protocol (VOIP).
VOIP allows people to mask international calls as local calls. In Malaysia, scammers often use it to mimic phone numbers of banks and the police to trick people into sending them money.
"Cyber crimes are definitely on the rise and will continue to rise. We’ve spoken to our counterparts in Hong Kong and Singapore and they too are recording up to 10 times the amount of cyber crime.
"We urge the telecommunications companies to upgrade their systems so they can provide us with the internet protocol addresses where the calls using VOIP are coming from so we can pinpoint their location."
Amar also reminded the public not to provide their banking details or transfer money to anyone claiming to be from the police or banks.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2018
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