African Scam busted

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 35 cheating cases known commonly as the "African Scam" has been solved by the police with the arrest of 13 suspects aged between 25 and 35.

They were nabbed by police at various locations in the Klang Valley and include 11 men and two women from African nations.

Bukit Aman Commercial CID director Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said that they had cheated their victims out of RM941,700.

"They had cheated Malaysians and also citizens from other countries such as Singapore, America and Australia. They all come here on a student visa and claim to be studying here but are involved in this cheating," he said at a press conference at the CCID headquarters here today.

He said that the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

"We also seized 21 mobile phones, seven laptops, ATM cards, six passports, a car and other items from the suspects," he said.

He said that their modus operandi was to first gain the trust of their victims, who were mostly women.

They would then claim a gift or a parcel meant for the victim was stuck at the customs office and a payment would be needed for its release.

A bank account, provided by an account mule, would be given to the victim where they would deposit the money.

The suspects would then lose contact with the victims once the money has been deposited.

"Do not trust strangers you meet online. The public needs to be reminded that bank or government agencies require people to go to their premises if large transactions are involved," he said.

Between January and September this year, police received a total of 1,719 reports of African scams involving losses amounting to RM66 million.