PENANG: The Anti-Corruption Agency has crippled a syndicate which conned Datuk wannabes into “donating” RM4,500 each, purportedly for a National Day banquet.
State ACA director Abu Kassim Mohamed said the syndicate was crippled with the arrest of a 39-year-old man from Seberang Prai who went around collecting donations impersonating as an officer from the state secretariat.
“The impostor was arrested on Aug 30 and released several days later on a RM10,000 bail.
“We believe this is a work of a syndicate which approached selected targets who are well-off for donations in return for recommendation for Datukship and other state awards,” he said, adding that the donors were even furnished with award application forms.
He said the impostor was not a government servant.
“We will only know if the problem is extensive if more people contact us to give further information. We appeal to those who made such donations and those who had similar experience to contact us immediately,’’ he said before the closing of the elocution contest for pre-university students jointly organised by ACA and the state Education Department in collaboration with the state government.
Abu Kassim also said that the public should take note that the state government did not collect donations in such a manner.
“All requests for donations are made through the proper channels, accompanied by formal letters furnished with details of the persons to contact,'' he said, adding that donations were made by cheque and not cash.
ACA deputy director-general I Datuk Mohd Zawawi Mohd Nordin, who was also present, said the agency received between 8,000 and 10,000 complaints of alleged corrupt practices every year.
“On the average, we investigate about 300 cases a year, and most of the complaints are against government servants, generally against those dealing with enforcement matters,” he said.