Cheque-theft ring busted


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 09 Mar 2003

BY ANDREW SAGAYAM

SHAH ALAM: Police have busted a syndicate believed to have raked in millions by altering cheques stolen from letterboxes throughout the Klang Valley with the arrest of three members including its mastermind and a postman. 

Police recovered 1,199 cheques of numerous financial institutions and banks, issued by various companies. 

The face value of the cheques drawn out totalled about RM1.5mil. 

Sources said the syndicate had used ink erasers to remove the particulars on the cheques before substituting them with names of accomplices.  

RECOVERED: SAC II Abu Bakar (right) and ASP Muniandy displaying the cheques worth RM1.5mil recovered from the syndicate, in Shah Alam Saturday.

The syndicate was said to have been in operation since 2000.  

Their accomplices were told to open savings accounts under their names and to hand over their ATM cards to the syndicate, who would later withdraw the cash after the cheques were banked in.  

They would be given a cut from the “profits.” 

Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Abu Bakar Mustaffa said the syndicate's activities came to light when a 25-year-old despatch worker, identified as a syndicate member, attempted to bank in two cheques worth RM12,000 issued by a company at a bank in Klang within three days in late January.  

He said a bank officer became suspicious and reported the matter to the police, which found out from the issuing company that the cheques were not issued to the man.  

The despatch worker was arrested on Jan 31 by a police team led by Asst Supt S. Muniandy.  

In February, police arrested the 42-year-old mastermind, said to be a pool table supplier, in Pusat Bandar Puchong. 

SAC II Abu Bakar said the mastermind led police to recover the 1,199 cheques and later to arrest the postman, in his 30s, on the same day. 

He said the postman was the one collecting letters from letterboxes in Petaling Jaya and Klang and delivering them to the syndicate.  

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