MACC conducts more raids, including on banks, in international scam syndicate probe

  • Nation
  • Friday, 03 Mar 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: Several banks and company registrar premises have been raided by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in an investigation said to be linked to an international scam syndicate.

The raids were conducted on Friday (March 3) by the MACC's Anti-Money Laundering (AML) task force, which was led by deputy commissioner Datuk Mohamad Zamri Zainul Abidin in a follow-up to Ops Tropicana.

ALSO READ: Global scam ring taken down

Sources said this allowed the syndicate to set up companies and bank accounts in the country.

"Such access made Malaysia one of the countries ideal for the syndicate.

"The financial institutions were believed to have acted as middlemen for the syndicate," said a source.

A 41-year-old British citizen, who works as a web designer, was also detained at KLIA2 by the task force on Feb 28, the source said.

"He was in transit from Cambodia to the United Kingdom. Investigators believed the man was hired to set up fake websites for the syndicate to con victims into fake investments," the source said.

ALSO READ: MACC busts scam syndicate with raid on KL operations hub

When contacted, Mohamad Zamri confirmed the raids but refused to elaborate.

On Feb 21, the MACC, with the cooperation of other agencies, busted an investment syndicate masterminded by British citizens following 24 raids and the arrest of 81 suspects.

Codenamed Ops Tropicana, the raids were conducted simultaneously at call centres, companies and houses in the Klang Valley and Penang.

The syndicate had been in operation since 2019 and had amassed almost RM200mil after duping victims in Australia and the United Kingdom.

MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki had said they cooperated with the Immigration Department, Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), Companies Commission of Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional Berhad and the Inland Revenue Board.

The modus operandi for the syndicate was to offer fake investment portfolios through advertisements on social media.

The syndicate members were from Australia, Britain, South Africa and the Philippines.

It is believed the syndicate was part of an international scam ring that duped victims of about RM1bil in total.

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