PETALING JAYA: Police smashed an international scam syndicate dubbed the "Macau Scam" with the arrest of 51 people, 50 of them foreigners.
The 46 Taiwanese nationals, four Chinese nationals and one Malaysian were picked up in raids on two bungalows, in Section 12 and Setia Bistari, Bukit Damansara, said Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department Cyber and Multimedia Crimes assistant director ACP Kamaruddin Md Din.
Forty-five of them were men and six were women, and they were aged between 20 and 40, he said, adding that they were picked up in a three-hour operation from 12.45 pm.
Kamaruddin said it was believed that the Macau Scam was headed by a Taiwanese, and many Chinese and Taiwanese nationals had been tricked into depositing their money in third party accounts.
"The syndicate does not operate in their own countries for fear of being identified by the authorities there. As such, they set up base in this country," he told reporters at Section 12, here.
Kamaruddin said the modus operandi of the syndicate was to use the Voice Over Internet Protocol (Voip) to telephone victims and this made it difficult for the police to detect their activities.
"They pose as bank officers, policemen or lawyers and tell their victims that their bank account or credit card had been breached by a third party and that their money will be stolen unless they transferred it to the syndicate's account," he said.
He said the police seized 13 laptop computers, 22 walkie-talkies, modems, call connectors, five scripts to defraud and five telephones.
The police were tracing the head of the syndicate and the losses suffered by the victims were being ascertained, he added. - Bernama