Retiree and accountant duped of RM1.4mil in investment scams

SEREMBAN: A 71-year-old retiree and a 49-year-old accountant have been cheated of RM1.4mil in a non-existent investment scheme, says Deputy Comm Datuk Ahmad Dzaffir Mohd Yussof.

The Negri Sembilan police chief said the victims claimed they had been offered investment schemes which offered high returns via Facebook but later found these to be scams.

"The older victim previously worked in the private sector and invested RM1.2mil while the accountant, a woman, invested RM200,000.

"They lodged reports separately on Feb 20 and 22," he told reporters at the state police contingent headquarters here on Monday (March 6).

DCP Ahmad Dzaffir said a probe found there were 25 similar cases reported nationwide in February alone, involving losses totalling RM5.3mil.

"The modus operandi of the scammers is the same.

"We are now looking for four people to help in our investigations and we appeal to anyone with any information to contact us," he said.

The four were Muhammad Asyraf Mohd Hissam, 27, from Damansara Damai, Selangor; Muhammad Sabran Alias, 38, from Chemor, Perak; V. Paramesvaran, 38, from Setapak, Kuala Lumpur; and Muhammad Subris Abdullah, 55 from Batu Gajah, Perak.

He said the public could contact investigating officer Insp Mohd Arif Jamaluddin at 019 400 5037 or the nearest police station.

The cases were being probed under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating which carries a jail term of between one and 10 years, whipping and a fine upon conviction.

DCP Ahmad Dzaffir advised the public to exercise caution before parting with their money to invest in schemes which offered unusually high returns.

He said they should verify all information with official sites such as the police Semak Mule online application, Bank Negara's Financial Consumer Alert List and the Securities Commission.

Separately, he said Negri Sembilan police opened 2,833 investigation papers related to commercial crime last year involving losses amounting to RM62.5mil.

In 2021, he said, 2,726 investigations were carried out involving RM43.1mil in losses.

There were six categories of commercial crimes. These were fraudulent online purchases, telecommunications fraud, non-existent loan and investment schemes, love scams, e-financial fraud, and the use of mule bank accounts by scammers.

He said the number of telecommunications fraud, non-existent investment schemes and e-financial fraud had registered an increase last year.

"In 2022, we detained 1,425 suspects and 469 were charged in court.

"In the previous year, 1,233 individuals were caught with 872 being charged," he said, adding that in the first two months of this year, 232 suspects had been caught and 196 charged for various offences.

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