Online scam ring smashed

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Dec 2019

IPOH: Nearly three weeks after the massive bust in Putrajaya of an online scam syndicate believed to be run by Chinese nationals, a similar operation was smashed here, involving the arrest of 40 Chinese nationals.

After a four-day surveillance, the Perak Immigration Department raided a double-storey bungalow here and arrested the 40 suspects, including two women.

The syndicate was so self-sustaining that no one was seen coming out or going into the bungalow for days. The younger of the two women arrested was believed to have been providing sexual services to the men.

The raid was carried out on Dec 9 between 4.30pm and 6.30pm at the house located on Jalan Tun Dr Ismail.

It was the biggest crackdown for the state involving such immigrants, said state Immigration Department director Kamalludin Ismail.

He added that the suspects, between 18 and 54 years of age, had been living in the rented bungalow for the past two weeks.

“During our surveillance, none of them came out of the house and no suspicious-looking people were seen going into the house, except for food delivery workers.

“My officers climbed over the wall, waited for an opportunity for someone to come out to the surrounding area before ambushing them as the bungalow had tight security with an intercom.

“When we entered the house, we saw a majority of them lying down in the living room as well as in the bedrooms while using their mobile phones.

Successful operation: Kamalludin (centre) showing the seized items during a press conference at the department in Ipoh. — BernamaSuccessful operation: Kamalludin (centre) showing the seized items during a press conference at the department in Ipoh. — Bernama

“We confiscated a total of 80 mobile phones, 31 personal computers, seven Internet routers, several credit cards, cash in various currencies, and one passport, ” he told a press conference at the department here yesterday.

Kamalludin said those arrested did not have valid documents with them and had misused their tourists’ pass, adding that they would be sent to the Langkap Immigration detention centre for staying in the country without a legal permit.

“When we entered the bungalow, it was stocked with food and supplies for at least a month.

“There were also used and unused condoms found, with each of the males having one unused condom with them, ” he said.

“The 54-year-old woman is believed to be the cook, while we believe the 24-year-old woman was involved in immoral activities.”

He added that the department would liaise with other enforcement authorities to ascertain if those arrested were involved in other illegal activities.

“We believe they have been carrying out online activities meant for the China market and they have been staying in the rented bungalow for more than two weeks now, ” he said.

“We are still looking for the mastermind as only one passport was found, and the rest did not have any valid documents with them.”

On Nov 26,104 Chinese nationals were nabbed for being part of an online scam syndicate in Kota Kinabalu.

The syndicate’s modus operandi was similar to the one that was operating from a six-storey building in Cyberjaya on Nov 20 where 680 Chinese nationals were nabbed.

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