Investment scams: Cops arrest 12 China nationals in KL call centre raid

KUALA LUMPUR: Cops nabbed 12 China nationals following a raid at a call centre here targeting victims of investment scams on Oct 23.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaakob said syndicates targeted victims in China by offering them fake investments.

"We believe the syndicate has been operating since September last year. They change the location of their call centres often to avoid detection. They would often choose luxury condominiums or hotels as their base of operation," he said in a statement on Monday (Oct 26).

Comm Zainuddin said that the syndicate would entice their victims via online platforms such as WeChat to invest in shares, supposedly in the stock market in China.

"Forty per cent of the syndicate's profits are used to fund the salary and other expenses of its members," said Comm Zainuddin.

He added that each member of the syndicate is paid between RM2,500 and RM4,000 a month while the syndicate is also able to pay up to RM13,000 a month in rent for their chosen premises.

On the raid itself, he said that seven laptops, 125 mobile phones, 1 iPad, four bags, two wrist watches, two rings, RM27,222 cash as well as foreign currencies in different denominations were among the items seized in the raid.

He added that the police believe that a local man is a coordinator for the syndicate in arranging for lodgings and other logistical needs.

"We are still tracking him down," he said, adding that the suspects - 10 men and two women - have been remanded until Tuesday (Oct 27).

Comm Zainuddin said that 60 call centres had been raided between January and Oct 23, resulting in the arrests of 617 China nationals.

"Last year, we raided 68 call centres and arrested 868 China nationals," he said, adding that the call centres are used for illegal online gambling as well as investment scams.

He also urged the public not to rent out their premises to criminal syndicates.

"Don't give any logistical assistance to the syndicates. The public should also be wary of investment scams that supposedly offered large profits," he added.

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