KUALA LUMPUR: Two investment scam syndicates behind RM5.6mil in losses, were busted following the arrests of 13 suspects.
In the first case, police conducted several raids in Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (Dec 13), in connection with Aliexchange cryptocurrency investment scam on Monday (Dec 14).
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigations Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Zainuddin Yaacob said nine suspects, including three women, were arrested in the series of raids.
"One of the men arrested is the syndicate's mastermind.
"We received 27 police reports on the investment scheme resulting in RM4.7mil.
"The syndicate was in operation from March to October last year," he told a press conference at the Bukit Aman CCID headquarters on Friday (Dec 18).
Among the items seized were 11 mobile phones, 20 ATM cards, five luxury vehicles and RM109,594 in cash.
The scheme used the cryptocurrency platform "AliCoin", he added.
"Each investor is given access to see their so-called investment via the AliExhange application.
"The syndicate enticed investors by promising returns of 5% to 15%, but it was a ruse.
"They also used Europeans as speakers at seminars organised by them to make it seem that their investment is legitimate," Comm Zainuddin said.
The victims were also required to buy the company's digital currency AliCoin, he added.
"One AliCoin is priced at RM4.70, and a minimum investment is priced at 10,000 AliCoin or RM47,000.
"The victims would realise they have been duped when they did not receive the promised returns and the company's application cannot be accessed," he said.
Comm Zainuddin advised the public not to be fooled with such "get rich quick" schemes or the testimonies of so-called successful investors.
"No investment would offer big returns in such a short time.
"In Malaysia, only three companies are allowed by the Securities Commission to deal in Bitcoin," he added.
In a separate case, Comm Zainuddin said a man, who is known as "Datuk Nadim" and three women were detained in connection with the Goldmine International investment scam.
"They were arrested on Thursday (Dec 17) following raids in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Kedah.
"We received nine police reports on the scheme which resulted in RM930,920 in losses.
"Among the items seized were three mobile phones, a paper bag filled with RM13,600 in cash and a few ATM cards," he said.
The syndicate ran a gold investment scheme with several packages to entice customers, Comm Zainuddin said.
"They promised the investors between 10% to 13%, returns depending on the amount invested.
"The agents who find investors are also given commissions depending on the number of investors," he added.
Comm Zainuddin said the syndicate has been active from Sept last year until Nov this year.
"We believe greed is among the factors as to how the victims were fooled by the syndicate.
"Use official online platforms such the SemakMule site or websites belonging to Bank Negara Malaysia and Securities Commission to check on companies or investment schemes," he said.
Comm Zainuddin also urged the public to continue supplying information on any scams so that fast action can be taken.
"Our focus for this year and the next is to go after investment scam syndicates," he said.