519 fall prey to holiday package scam

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020

SHAH ALAM: Selangor police have detected 69 cases connected to the company offering non-existent holiday packages to frontliners involving losses of over RM600,000.

Selangor Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief

Asst Comm Muhammad Yazid Muhammad Yew said a total of 519 people had fallen prey to the scam in the state.

“In Ampang Jaya, seven police reports were lodged involving seven victims and RM261,269 in losses.

“In Petaling Jaya, 10 reports were lodged involving 194 victims and RM232,110 in losses, while in Kajang, four reports were lodged involving 204 victims and RM48,929 in losses,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said in Sungai Buloh, 30 police reports were lodged involving 63 victims and RM26,193 in losses while in Gombak seven reports were lodged involving 26 victims and RM15,430 in losses; in Subang Jaya, three reports were lodged involving three victims and RM4,097 in losses while two victims lodged reports in Sepang involving RM3,493 in losses.

Earlier yesterday, it was reported that a syndicate run by a husband and wife had been crippled for

trying to dupe frontliners into purchasing non-existent holiday packages.

Sungai Buloh OCPD Supt Shafa’aton Abu Bakar said they were alerted after a nurse was duped into purchasing one of the “packages” on Sept 13.

“She saw a post on WhatsApp via a group with her colleagues about a holiday package to Port Dickson for between RM88 and RM499 and contacted the company.

“They then offered her to be an agent for the company and a 10% commission if she referred more customers to them,” she told reporters at the Sungai Buloh police headquarters yesterday.

She said the complainant then shared the information about the package with her colleagues and 26 of them made bookings amounting to RM7,778 to the company.

“The complainant lodged a report when checks with the hotel showed no bookings had been made.

“A team from the Sungai Buloh Commercial Crime Investigation Department raided a homestay at Ampang on Sept 24 and arrested a man and woman aged 27 and 26,” she said, adding that the man was the owner of the company while the woman was his wife and acted as the liaison contact with the “agents” and customers who made bookings.

She said investigations revealed the company was not registered with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and was not appointed by any of the hotels or residences as an agent.

“They would receive payment from customers and make bookings via an online travel booking platform.

“Investigations revealed there were never any actual packages offered,” she said, adding that they seized four mobile phones and a laptop and have remanded the couple until Sept 29 to assist in investigations.

She said the case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

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