Cops may go after landlords who rent units to criminals

KUALA LUMPUR: Police want landlords who rent out their houses or apartments to criminals, including scam syndicates, to be held accountable.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said they are pushing for the possibility of putting the liability on the owners.

“We have encountered many cases where such houses and apartments are being used as scam call centres.

“Recently, we detained more than 20 scammers, who rented several houses to operate as call centres.

“This has to stop,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Comm Ramli said while some syndicates are willing to pay a high rate of rent, owners and property agents must look past making a profit.

“Some syndicates are willing to pay up to six months in advance in rent but rationally, the owner or agent must think there is something wrong somewhere.

“In some instances, the syndicates would place 65 people in several housing units, in other instances, 20 people,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Comm Datuk Allaudeen Abdul Majid said most of the scam call centres raided in the city were located in luxury condominiums and apartments.

“It is bewildering that such criminals were allowed to operate in such prestigious locations, when in fact, it would be hard for regular people to even enter the premises.

“I have also instructed KL CCID to step up operations against the call centres in the city,” he said.

So far, KL CCID had conducted 1,311 raids on online crime syndicates in the city, he added.

“We have detained 855 people for their involvement in scam call centres between January and September this year.

“In the past two months, some 20 raids were conducted and 342 people were arrested,” he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia criminologist Datuk Dr P. Sundramoorthy said landlords must be proactive and take full responsible for the action of their tenants.

“As the owner, your responsibility is not solely about rental. You are liable for the behaviour and action of your tenant,” he said, adding that owners had the right to do monthly inspection but without violating too much of their tenants’ privacy.

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