JOHOR BARU: The 52 foreigners arrested for alleged involvement in a Macau scam syndicate last week entered the country claiming to be IT workers.
Police found that the suspects – 46 from China and six from Taiwan – were recruited through online sites and promised lucrative jobs paying between RM4,000 and RM6,000 a month at a company here.
Sources said none of the suspects had any IT experience but were still recruited and flown into the country.
They added that Johor police were now working with their Taiwanese counterparts to identify the mastermind behind the racket, which has made millions duping victims in China and Taiwan.
They said the “IT workers” were placed in call centres in Johor Baru that operated round the clock. The workers had to make dozens of calls daily using prepared scripts.
Last week, a police team from the Iskandar Puteri district commercial crime unit arrested the foreigners along with three Malaysians.
They were running the call centres from six bungalows in an upmarket residential area in Bukit Indah which were rented for between RM15,000 and RM20,000 each per month.
Macau scam fraudsters use Voice over Internet Protocol technology to replicate phone numbers of the police, central banks and other government agencies.
They call up potential victims and claim that they have been implicated in criminal activities overseas, are wanted for buying drugs online, or for money laundering.
The fraudsters will then ask the victims to make payments or transfer their money into other accounts to prevent it from being frozen.
It is learnt that the syndicate, active since last year, also brought foreigners posing as tourists into the state.
Johor police chief Comm Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd confirmed the arrests and seizure of a number of items, including several cars, 60 mobile phones and 21 laptops, as well as modems, routers and other devices.