NGOs want cops to act on investment scam, claim victims lost over RM3bil

KUALA LUMPUR: Several non-governmental organisations have urged the authorities to come down hard on an alleged online investment scam which has caused over 10,000 victims to lose billions in life savings.

Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim(pic) said the group came to Sentul police headquarters here to represent over 180 victims in lodging police reports against the scam syndicate.

"We urge the police to take stern and swift action against this online scam syndicate.

"According to our estimates, more than 10,000 victims have lost over RM3bil in total to the syndicate," he told reporters outside Sentul police headquarters on Monday (Dec 5).

He said at first the syndicate went by one name and targeted Chinese victims but has since stopped its activities under that handle.

"We believe the syndicate now goes by another name and is targeting Malay and Indian victims.

"We urge the government to take action and use the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act as well as the Prevention Of Crime Act on the syndicate members," he said, adding that it was believed the syndicate members were still in the country.

Malaysia Community Crime Care (MCCC) president Tan Sri Musa Hassan said the police must take action against the syndicate to prevent victims from being duped further.

"Those interested in taking part in investment schemes should check with the police and Bank Negara Malaysia before parting with any cash," he said.

One investor, who gave his name only as Chia, 48, said he lost over RM500,000.

"At first the scheme offered returns of about 17%.

"They told me the money was used to place bets, but if we lost our bets it would be covered by an insurance package which was also offered as part of the deal.

"I started investing last year until we lost contact with the scheme operator in August this year," said the businessman.

He said he was disappointed as the scheme is still operating and the main agent has yet to be arrested.

Meanwhile, another victim who identified himself only as Tan, 44, said he began investing when the movement control order (MCO) came into effect in March 2020.

The coffee shop owner said he was drawn to the scheme as it promised 16.5% returns monthly.

"I was so excited that I also encouraged my family members and friends to invest.

"I was interested in investing during the MCO... I thought it was a smart decision as the scheme promised fixed returns every month," he said, adding that he and his family members had lost over RM500,000.

Hishamuddin also urged others who had been duped by Zuttelo or other scam syndicates to come forward immediately by contacting the MHO hotline at +60 14-994 6697.

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