KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police, together with their counterparts from Hong Kong and Singapore, have crippled a love scam syndicate following several raids.
Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh said police launched a series of raids simultaneously between Oct 19 and 21.
“We managed to arrest 16 Malaysians, two Nigerians and a Chinese woman aged between 29 and 60.
“We believe the two Nigerians were the masterminds of the syndicate,” he told reporters at a press conference at the Federal CCID headquarters here on Monday (Oct 22).
He added that the Hong Kong Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau managed to arrest 11 syndicate members there, while Singapore Commercial Affairs Department managed to arrest two members.
“The syndicate here have been linked to 38 love scam cases involving losses of RM28mil, while the Hong Kong based syndicate has been linked to 100 cases involving RM54mil losses.
“The Singapore arm of the syndicate has been linked to eight cases involving losses of RM1.35mil,” he said.
The love scam cases begin with the suspect befriending and beginning a “relationship” with the victim, also on social media.
Before long, the suspect will profess his love for the victim, saying that he wants to come to Malaysia to marry her.
Upon arrival, he is “arrested” and either he or members of his syndicate will then contact the victim, demanding money for his release.
Once the money is paid, the suspect usually disappears and will become uncontactable.