PUTRAJAYA: Six people have been remanded for alleged involvement in a syndicate that sells fake federal awards, with the title "Tan Sri" said to command around RM2mil.
It is learnt that one suspect is the president of a non-governmental organisation.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation said four suspects, three men and a woman in their 30s to 50s, were arrested at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters on Nov 30.
They were summoned for their statements to be recorded after investigation papers were opened on their alleged activities.
Two other suspects, a woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s, were arrested on Monday and Wednesday (Dec 4 and 6) respectively.
Sources said the latest arrest involved the president of an NGO, who was nabbed in Melaka at 3pm Wednesday.
“He is believed to be the mastermind and the person who determines the price of the awards,” said one source.
It is learnt that the syndicate had conned six individuals who wished to get awards without going through normal procedure.
“The syndicate is believed to have been in operation since 2020.
“They were said to have deceived victims of hundreds of thousands of ringgit by showing photographs and documents supposedly from a government agency to convince their victims that the medals and titles arranged by them via the 'back door' are genuine,” the source added.
It is believed that one victim paid RM1.2mil for a Tan Sri title and the MACC is in the process of tracing five others believed to have been cheated by the syndicate.
Sources said the syndicate is said to have charged RM150,000 for those who want to get a Datukship, RM250,000 for a Datuk Seri title and about RM2mil to be awarded the title Tan Sri.
It is learnt three suspects had their remand extended for three days from Wednesday while one was released on MACC bail.
The woman who was arrested on Monday was remanded for four days from Tuesday.
On Thursday (Dec 7), Magistrate Irza Zulaikha Rohanuddin allowed for the main suspect to be remanded until Monday (Dec 11).
MACC senior director of investigation Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hashim confirmed the arrest and that the agency was investigating the case.
He said graft investigators were looking for several other individuals allegedly involved in the syndicate.