Johor Bahru, Malaysia, Feb 3, 2021 -- Johor police have crippled the first-ever Macau Scam syndicate’s rural call centre operation in the state following the arrest of 17 locals in Bandar Penawar, near Kota Tinggi, yesterday.
Johor Police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said 15 men and two women, aged 22 to 33, were suspected of posing as Poslaju officers and enforcement officers to deceive their victims.
He said the 10.35 am raid on a homestay also led to the seizure of equipment, believed to be used to contact and deceive victims, including 57 mobile phones of various brands, a computer and two modems.
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He said that the scammers would pose as Poslaju officers and deceive victims into believing that packages addressed to them had been detained for containing illicit items.
He added that they would claim that the victims could be arrested and charged before offering to help them lodge police reports regarding the matter.
"Another syndicate member, posing as the investigating officer, would then offer to solve the case by asking for the victim’s personal information and banking details. The victim would be asked to follow instructions given through the phone to make transfers to accounts provided by the syndicate member," he told reporters at a media conference here today.
Ayob Khan said some of those arrested were initially offered different jobs on social media and only knew of the work they would be doing after entering the house and they were not allowed to leave the premises as every necessity would be provided for by the syndicate chief, who is still at large.
"The syndicate members are from various states, including Sabah and Sarawak, and they are all paid monthly salaries between RM2,000 and RM7,000, in addition to commissions of one to three per cent from the amounts they scammed.
"All those arrested have been remanded for four days until Saturday (Feb 6) under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating," he said.
Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Thursday, February 4, 2021
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