KUALA LUMPUR: A 39-year-old Taiwanese man has been nabbed for allegedly being the mastermind of an international Macau scam syndicate.
Sources said that Wei Kuo-Chun, also known as Jason Wei, who has been on the run for a few years, was nabbed by Malaysian police and Interpol at the Ampang Putra Residency at about 8.20pm on Monday (Jan 25).
Wei was detained along with another wanted Taiwanese man, 49-year-old Ku Chin Lung and two other Taiwanese men at the condominium.
"Jason Wei has been wanted by Taiwanese police since Dec 25,2014 and they received information that he has been hiding in Kuala Lumpur while operating the Macau scam syndicate targeting Chinese citizens," a source told The Star on Tuesday (Jan 25).
The successful operation was conducted after police in Taiwan requested the assistance of Bukit Aman, the source added.
"Bukit Aman conducted the operation with Interpol against Jason Wei," the source said.
It is learnt that Jason Wei had previously helmed a Macau scam syndicate in the Philippines in 2014 and in Montenegro in 2019.
"The police believe that he was still conducting the international syndicate from Malaysia prior to his arrest. He also has citizenship in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau due to investment," the source said.
It is learnt that Jason Wei's wife took part in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme while he is a holder of the MM2H dependent visa.
"The wife is currently in Taiwan," the source added.
Meanwhile, the source said Ku was identified by Taiwanese police as the leader of an online scam syndicate in Taiwan.
"Police believe Ku had combined forces with Jason Wei and made Kuala Lumpur as the base of operation for their international scam syndicate," the source said.
Jason Wei, Ku, and two other Taiwanese men will be investigated by the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (NCID).
"After the investigation is done by the CCID, the four men will be handed over to Taiwanese police," the source said.
When contacted, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed the arrests.
"We worked with Interpol and Taiwanese police in this successful operation," he said.
The term “Macau scam” was coined because it is believed that it originated from Macau or that the first victims came from there. This has never been confirmed.
The scam often starts with a phone call from someone pretending to be an officer from a bank, government agency or debt collector.
The scammer will then claim that the potential victim owes money or has an unpaid fine, often with a very short window of less than an hour, to settle the payment or face “dire consequences”.
These unsuspecting victims will then be asked to make payments to get them off the hook.