KUALA LUMPUR: A syndicate that targeted luxury vehicles was busted with the arrest of 14 people.
Police secretary Deputy Comm Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said the suspects, 11 men and three women aged between 22 and 43, were picked up in a series of raids by Bukit Aman CID’s Intelligence, Operation and Record division (D4).
“We believe one of them is the mastermind,” she added.
She said five luxury vehicles, which were reported stolen, were seized from the group.
DCP Noorsiah also said a total of 14 reports were lodged in Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang and here in relation to the theft of such vehicles.
Initial investigations revealed that the syndicate had carried out the heists at car sale centres, workshops, valet parking spots and car wash outlets.
“Its members have posed as buyers before duping the sellers and driving the vehicles away. In some cases like at the valet parking spots or car wash outlets, they pretended to be the car owners,” she added.
DCP Noorsiah said the syndicate was targeting vehicles such as Mercedes Benz, Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen.
“They even hired runners to send the stolen vehicles to Thailand.
“Investigations are still underway and we are working closely with the relevant agencies,” she said in a statement yesterday.
The case has been classified under Section 379A and Section 411 of the Penal Code for theft of motor vehicle and dishonestly receiving stolen property respectively, she added.
DCP Noorsiah reminded workers at vehicle showrooms, workshops or valet parking spots to be careful when handing over the vehicles to individuals who claimed to be vehicle owners or their representatives.
“Tighten the security procedures and make sure that the vehicles are only passed to the legitimate owners,” she advised.
In general, upon obtaining a stolen vehicle, syndicate members will use various tools such as the immobiliser to deactivate the alarm or a signal jammer to neutralise the GPS system.
Then, they will change the plate number to a fake one before keeping the vehicle at a secure place while searching for a buyer.