JOHOR BARU: A total of 52 foreigners, believed to be members of an international Macau scam syndicate, have been charged with passport offences at the magistrate’s court here.
Macau scammers would pose as bank or enforcement officers, making random calls to con people into transferring money to release their frozen accounts.
A total of 22 Chinese nationals and six Taiwanese were charged before magistrate Mohd Azlan Shah Mohd Alias.
Eleven of them failed to produce proper travel documents in Malaysia, when asked to do so at a police station on June 1.
Another 17 of them were alleged to have committed the same offence at Horizon Hills, on May 24.
In a separate courtroom before magistrate Noor Aisyah Ahmad, another 24 Chinese nationals were charged with the same offence also at Horizon Hills on May 24.
They were charged under Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63, which carries a fine of up to RM10,000 or jail term of not more than five years or both or a maximum of six whippings.
During the proceedings, the accused pleaded not guilty and insisted that they had passports after the charges were read out to them in Mandarin by a court interpreter.
The court fixed June 14 for the next case mention for 11 of the accused. Their lawyer R. Babu produced their passports during the proceedings.
The court also set July 12, for next case mention for the other accused.
The prosecution was represented by DPPs Muhammad Mohd Nasir and Muhammad Syafiq Mohd Ghazali.