JOHOR BARU: Police uncovered an international syndicate involved in a “Macau scam” with the arrest of two Taiwanese nationals at a hotel in Kluang.
The syndicate is believed to have been active for the past several months. They even rented 22 rooms at the hotel that were turned into their call centre for their illegal activities.
The group is believed to have raked in millions of ringgit by targeting locals as well as foreigners living abroad.
Johor police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the duo, aged between 24 and 25 years, were detained at the hotel at around 11.30pm last Saturday.
“The suspects will call up victims while posing as bank officers or a Taiwanese Government official by using the Voice Over Internet Protocol (Voip),” he explained at a press conference at the state police headquarters here yesterday.
“The syndicate would then inform their victims that he or she has been found to be involved in money laundering and their accounts have to be closed,” he added.
SDCP Mohd Mokhtar said the suspects would then instruct their victims to transfer their money into another account.
“Voip will display the actual phone number of banks and government departments and offices on the receiver’s mobile phones, making it easy for syndicates to dupe their victims,” he said.
SDCP Mohd Mokhtar said, among the items police seized were 47 modems, 16 wireless phones, six laptops, four mobile broadband devices, four ATM cards, three printers, two mobile phones, an earplug and an Internet transaction unit.
He said police were now looking for another Taiwanese national Ling Jun Hong, 35.
“He is believed to be the mastermind behind the syndicate,” said SDCP Mohd Mokhtar, adding that police would be contacting their counterpart in Macau soon.
He said the suspects were being remanded to assist with the investigations under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and urged victims to contact the state police hotline at 07-2212 999.
SCDP Mohd Mokhtar also urged the public not to fall for such scams. “Always verify if the caller is indeed calling from a bank or from the government department,” he said.