23 Taiwanese nabbed in raid on scam ring

Confiscated: A commercial crime investigation department officer showing one of the laptops that was seized to Comm Mohd Shuhaily (second left) following a raid at a luxury bungalow in Batu Ferringhi.

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Despite facing some difficulties during an operation against an online sales scam syndicate in Batu Ferringhi, police successfully busted the syndicate with the arrest of 23 Taiwanese on Saturday.

State police chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the suspects, aged between 19 and 48, including six women, were nabbed in a raid at a three-storey luxury bungalow house at the popular tourist destination.

“During the raid, we faced some difficulties when we were not able to enter the premises.

“It took us 10 minutes to gain entry,” he told a press conference at the central Seberang Prai police headquarters yesterday.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the time gap enabled the suspects to delete a lot of information that was in their gadgets.

During the 6.30pm raid, a team from the state and George Town police headquarters Commercial Crime Investigation Department seized several items in the house.

The items confiscated were 46 mobile phones, 14 laptops of various brands, eight iPads, six walkie-talkies, 12 prepaid cards, two card readers, two thumb drives, a portable WiFi unit and a WiFi router.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said investigations found that the syndicate had been operating since the middle of May.

He said the suspects were attracted to the job opportunity that offered a monthly salary as high as RM7,000.

He added that interrogations found that none of the suspects was actually paid that amount, with the highest being about RM5,000 per month.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the syndicate advertised branded items to be sold online to Taiwan nationals.

“Victims who have been duped by the advertisements would be asked to make a payment through an online platform where the syndicate will provide the link to the customer,” he said.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said investigations also found that no local bank accounts were involved in the transactions.

He said so far, only Taiwanese nationals became victims of the syndicate, but police were still investigating whether any Malaysian has fallen prey.

He said police were still tracking down the mastermind of the syndicate and ascertaining the total losses.

He urged the public to use the ccid.rmp.gov.my/semakmule/ webpage to cross reference the account details of sellers.

“The system and application will enable the public to check any suspicious bank account or phone number. The public must always be careful when purchasing things online, and do not make any transactions or transfer money to unknown accounts,” he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

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