Published: Wednesday January 30, 2013 MYT 7:11:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday January 30, 2013 MYT 7:18:36 PM
Police detain nine after busting ‘cyber lover’ syndicate
By RASHITHA A. HAMID
KUALA LUMPUR: Police busted a love scam syndicate when they raided three apartments in Bukit Beruang, Malacca, and arrested seven African and two Filipinos here Wednesday.
Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department Director Comm Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said investigations revealed the some of the men are students at local colleges and a few of them including the women had overstayed in Malaysia.
The suspects, aged between 25 and 37 have been remanded to facilitate investigations following the 12.30am raid.
Police got a lead on the syndicate when a woman from Hong Kong who was duped into parting with RM200,000 by a syndicate member who had led her into believing that he would marry her.
They had met through a dating website in January last year.
Syed Ismail said the man had promised to go to Hong Kong and marry the 37-year-old social worker.
Believing this, he said the woman had deposited money into several local bank accounts in June.
“She deposited the money in six transactions and the last transaction was made last month,” he told a press conference.
However, after the last transaction was made, the “boyfriend” was not contactable, forcing the woman to lodge a police report.
He said the woman flew here before meeting the investigating officer at the Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) headquarters in Bukit Perdana here Tuesday morning.
“With all the evidence and supporting documents provided by the victim, we traced where they the syndicate was operating from before moving in,” he added.
Syed Ismail advised locals not to help unknown people, especially foreigners to open bank accounts using their details as they might misuse it for criminal activities.
“When we questioned some of the account holders, they claimed not to be aware of such activities and had just helped the foreigners to open accounts since foreigners have difficulties opening accounts in local banks,” he said.
Police also revealed the syndicate members would pay between RM200 and RM500 to the account holders to open local bank accounts.