Thursday January 31, 2013
All out of love for scammers
By RASHITHA A. HAMID
KUALA LUMPUR: Police busted a “love scam” syndicate when they raided three units of apartments in Bukit Beruang, Malacca, and arrested seven African men and two Filipinas.
Federal Commercial Crime Director Comm Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said initial investigation 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 investigation following the 12.30am raid.
Police got a lead on the syndicate when a Hong Kong woman 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.
Comm Syed Ismail said the man had promised to go to Hong Kong and marry the 37-year-old social worker.
Believing his sweet talk and promises, 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 investigation officer at the Commercial Crime headquarters in Bukit Perdana here yesterday morning.
“With all the evidence and supporting documents provided by the victim, we traced the syndicate's operating location before moving in,” he added.
Comm 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.
Investigation also revealed the syndicate members would pay between RM200 and RM500 to the account holders to open local bank accounts.