A fourth man held in 'priest' scam

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 24 Jul 2003


KLANG: A man, believed to be connected to the three self-proclaimed priests who duped several families into giving away their money and jewellery, has been detained by police here. 

He was picked up at 1.30pm yesterday after initial investigations showed that he was part of a group who had gone house-to-house to solicit donations in exchange for “cleansing” the victims of evil spirits. 

A police spokesman said the suspect, in his 20s, has been placed under remand to help police in their investigations.  

Police had arrested two suspects in Raub and another in Banting on Monday. 

During a raid at a budget hotel in Raub on Monday police found an assortment of items for a ritual ceremony, such as limes, yellow robes, camphor, a whip and sharp metal objects, as well as pawnshop receipts and jewellery. 

Fifteen victims, from three families, were rescued from the hotel when police made the raid. The youngest were babies aged two months and three months old. 

The “priests” had allegedly threatened the victims that they would die if they did not hand over their money and jewellery, as these items had been “possessed by evil spirits and needed to be cleansed”. 

The suspects, aged between 18 and 22, were believed to have cheated 46 other people from seven families since April of nearly RM100,000 in cash and jewellery. 

Interviewed at their homes yesterday, two of the 15 victims said they were still in a state of shock and could not recall much of what had happened since they followed the bogus priests on July 6. 

Supervisor Iqbal Hanifa, 27, said he could only recall that on July 5, he was resting at the house. 

“After that, I could only remember sitting at the police station in Raub,” he said at his home in Petaling Jaya. 

Another victim, Mohd Ali Mydin, 19, said he felt exhausted and needed rest. 

“I cannot think of anything now and could not really recall what had occurred,” he said.  

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