Op Tropicana: Two British nationals get six months' jail for cheating

BUTTERWORTH: Two British nationals were sentenced to six months in jail by the Sessions Court here after they pleaded guilty to charges of cheating two Austrian nationals as part of an international online fraud syndicate.

Judge Zulhazmi Abdullah also imposed fines of RM100,000 each on Lloyd George Bedwell, 48, and Roger Hoi Wing Wu, 46, and ordered both of the accused to serve their prison terms from the day of their arrest on Feb 21.

Lloyd and Hoi pleaded guilty before Judge Zulhazmi after the two alternative charges were read to them in English by the court translator during the proceeding.

According to the charges, Lloyd and Hoi with one Jacob Yazdi who is still at large were accused of cheating two Austrian nationals Trevor Ronald John Curtis and Kimberley John Buist Walker.

They were accused of deceiving the victims into believing that they were guaranteed to make a significant profit from a short-term investment by purchasing shares in a company known as Devon Energy Corporation which both of the accused know is not in existence.

Both of the accused dishonestly induced their victims to deliver a sum of AU$8,991.92 (RM27,018.28) AU$8,573 (RM25,759.54) into a RHB Bank account belonging to MB International Sdn Bhd.

They were accused of having committed the offences at Island Plaza Tower in Tanjung Tokong on Dec 16, 2022, and Jan 5, 2023.

The charges were made under Section 471 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34 of the same code, which carries a maximum jail term of five years or fines or both if convicted.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Deputy Public Prosecutors Ahmad Akram Gharib, Noor Azura Zulkifli and Afiqa Liyana Rozman appeared for the prosecution while the accused were represented by counsel V. Muniandy and A. Ashok.

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

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

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