GEORGE TOWN: Penang police have crippled the biggest international Internet cheating syndicate operating in the state which caused losses of about RM10bil, with the arrest of 37 people in two simultaneous raids in two separate places here Friday.
The syndicate, more commonly known as "Macau scam" and is believed to be led by a Taiwanese, has cheated numerous China nationals by tricking them into depositing money into third-party accounts.
Penang police deputy chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar said commercial crime teams from Penang and Bukit Aman raided the first premises at about 10am in Kinta Lane and arrested 22 suspects from China and six from Taiwan, and two Malaysians.
He said the premises had been turned into a calling centre as several communication devices including laptops, modem, router, telephone and mobile phones were discovered during the raid.
In the second raid in a residential area in Jalan Pantai Molek, Tanjung Bungah, three Malaysians and four Taiwanese were arrested.
Police also managed to recover a few passports believed to belong to the suspect in the second raid.
Abdul Rahim said the modus operandi of the Macau scam syndicate was posing as police or bank officers and contacting the prospective victims.
"They would inform the victims that their bank account or credit card had been hacked by third parties and their money would be stolen by conmen if not transferred to other accounts," he said.
The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code. - Bernama