The entire six-storey building in Cyberjaya had been taken over by a syndicate operating a call centre for an investment and foreign exchange (forex) scam targeting Chinese citizens.
Immigration officers had to go through locked doors, guarded floors and rooms with mattresses for knackered scammers, but outnumbered as they were, they managed to apprehend 680 Chinese nationals.However, 100 or more of these suspected online scammers managed to get away, and now the hunt is on.
In a press conference at its headquarters here yesterday, Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said they would work together with the police to round up the remaining suspects.
“I have already informed Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador on the matter.
“The Chinese embassy has also been notified.
“We will continuously search for the remaining members,” he said.
The scam syndicate, believed to have been operating for six months, targeted victims in China, promising them high and quick returns.
A code would be given out to “clients” to use a particular Chinese language website while all payments and transactions would be conducted via WeChat pay or banks in China.
The scammers were caught by surprise in the Wednesday raid.
Some even tried to jump out of windows, while others fought to resist arrest.
Injuries were reported on both sides. All were given on-site treatment by members of the Civil Defence Force, with no serious injuries reported.
Investigations showed that the building was being rented out for about RM360,000 a month.
“We are currently tracing the individuals behind this company,” said Khairul.
“We will also share information with other agencies, including Bank Negara, the Companies Commission of Malaysia, and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.”
On the 680 arrested suspects, aged between 19 and 35, the department found that all had been staying using social passes.
“Almost all were found to be without their passports. Up till now, no representative has come forward with their passports,” he said.
It is learnt that the suspects were sent to the Bukit Jalil depot after being biometrically processed.
The department also seized 8,230 handphones, 174 laptops and 787 desktop computers under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
When members of the media were brought to the holding area where the department was holding unprocessed suspects, computers could be seen packed and stacked inside a separate room that was filled to the brim.
News of the raid and videos of the suspects jumping out of the building’s windows or swarming the streets in a bid to escape went viral on social media on Wednesday.