Two arrested over RM500k scamming of retired aircraft engineer

SEREMBAN: Police have detained two male suspects allegedly involved in a scam in which a 64-year-old retired aircraft engineer was duped of RM551,111.

A police spokesman said the two suspects, aged 32 and 42, were detained in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (Oct 1) night.

"Both the suspects were holders of bank accounts which the victim's money were allegedly transferred into.

"We will apply for a remand order today to detain them for questioning," he said.

Negri Sembilan commercial crime chief Supt Aibee Ab Ghani had on last Saturday said the victim from Nilai first received a call on Sept 20 from a woman who identified herself as "Nadiah Nizam" from the Kuantan post office.

The woman told him there was a package which contained an identity card, as well as credit cards, that belonged to him, and that the package was to be sent to Kuching.

However, the package had been intercepted by the Customs Department as such items could not be sent via post.

When the victim said he knew nothing about the package, the call was "transferred" to the Kuantan police station where a man, who identified himself as "Sarjen Andy Lho Tin Hao" asked him to immediately lodge a report.

Supt Aibee said the victim was then told that he was involved in money-laundering activities involving RM1.48mil and that he had apparently received RM148,000 as an incentive.

The victim was also told there was an arrest warrant out for him.

Three days later, the victim again received a call, this time from a "Sjn Rafie", and the call was then connected to someone who identified himself as "Insp Zulfakar".

The victim was told that he would be arrested soon.

Supt Aibee said the victim was then put through to one "Insp Ting Tien Hau", who claimed that the victim had acted in cahoots with a criminal known as "Danny Wong".

The victim was then asked to withdraw his bank savings and to remit the cash into three different accounts in a bank and wait until the police completed their probe.

Supt Aibee said on Sept 27, Insp Ting again called the victim who asked him to withdraw his Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings. However, the victim's wife advised him against it.

The victim then realised he had been duped and lodged a report.

The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

The term “Macau Scam” was coined because it is believed that it originated from Macau or that the first victims came from there. This has never been confirmed.

The scam often starts with a phone call from someone pretending to be an officer from a bank, government agency or debt collector.

The scammer will then claim that the potential victim owes money or has an unpaid fine, often with a very short window of less than an hour, to settle the payment or face “dire consequences”.

These unsuspecting victims will then be asked to make payments to get them off the hook.

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