Foreign gang tied to man's disappearance


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003

BY LOURDES CHARLES

KUALA LUMPUR: A gang of foreign criminals targeting tourists at well-known resorts is believed to be behind the disappearance of a Dutch national from his hotel in Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands.  

Careljan Van Wezel, 47, a chef, was last seen withdrawing money from an ATM machine in Tanah Rata at 11.30pm on Feb 16. 

Federal CID assistant director Asst Comm Takbir Ahmad said an Algerian and two Moroccans have been detained in connection with the case. 

“We seized 91 pieces of traveller’s cheques believed to have either been stolen or robbed from foreign tourists. 

“However, we have not been able to trace the whereabouts of Van Wezel,’’ he said.  

Initial investigations showed that someone had used Van Wezel's credit card in Tanah Rata and Ipoh Parade to purchase clothes, shoes, cameras and other items totalling RM2,000.  

ACP Takbir Ahmad said Van Wezel's clothes were in his room but his passport and credit cards were missing.  

On the modus operandi of the foreign criminals, ACP Takbir said five to seven men would befriend tourists at resorts in places like Penang, Mersing and Malacca. 

“The men would spike the tourists' drinks at the bar before entering their rooms to steal cash and credit cards. The cards would be used until the victims reported the theft to the bank,’’ he said.  

ACP Takbir said Van Wezel’s family was offering a RM20,000 reward for information on him. 

Police are looking for 28-year-old Djoudi Nacer @ Eric (Passport No: 3838710L) and a person who goes by the name of Sam, also 28, to assist in investigations. 

Those with information can contact Cameron Highlands OCPD Deputy Supt Rooslan Radzi at 012-554 7566/05-491 1222 or ASP Dennis Lim (Serious Crimes) at Bukit Aman at 019-364 7 101/03-2262 7020. 

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