Nearly 500 land scam cases detected over past three years, says Bukit Aman CCID director

KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 489 land scam cases were recorded over the past three years with almost RM300mil in losses recorded, says Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf.

The Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director said as of May 19, 74 cases were reported involving RM60.6mil in losses.

"From 2021 till last year, we received 489 reports of land scam or land fraud cases.

"The victims lost about RM299.6mil as a result of it," he said when contacted on Tuesday (May 28).

In the latest case, a 69-year-old businessman lodged a report over the illegal transfer of ownership over three plots of land in Gombak on May 22, Comm Ramli said.

"The complainant had contacted the Gombak Land Office to check on land belonging to a family member who had passed away.

"He discovered that the ownership of the land was transferred to an unknown individual in August 2004.

"He was also shown a copy of a court order for the transfer of ownership, which when further checked with the courts, turned out to be fake," he said.

Comm Ramli said a check on the MyKad number of the new owner also proved fruitless as the number did not exist.

"We are still investigating the amount of losses suffered by the victim and the case is classified under Section 420 of the Penal Code," he said.

Comm Ramli said several factors contributed to land fraud cases, including buyers' lack of knowledge on land sale, not following procedure and laws, shortcomings of land office personnel and mistakes by lawyers.

Comm Ramli said the police are calling for procedures for transfer of land ownership to be tightened by enabling the Land Office to be responsible for verifying the authenticity of a document submitted to them.

"While it could prolong transfers of ownership, we feel it is needed to prevent any fraud or scam from occurring.

"We also urge land owners to check the status of their land regularly.

"Don't be easily enticed by those who offer land cheaper than the market price.

"Check and verify the land owner's identity, ownership registration number, lot numbers and other features including size of land," he said.

Comm Ramli also did not rule out the possibility of the involvement of Land office personnel in land scams and fraud.

"Such crimes are syndicated as it involves various individuals to ensure its success.

"We urge the public to be careful when purchasing or selling land, to avoid being victims of such scams," he said.

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