KUALA LUMPUR: Police believe they have crippled a syndicate that cheated hundreds of victims of more than RM31 million through a so-called crude palm oil (CPO) investment scheme. A 35-year-old suspect has been arrested and three luxury cars – a Nissan GT-R, a Lamborghini Aventador and a Porsche Panamera – as well as two luxury motorcycles – a Harley-Davidson Fatboy and a BMW GS1200 – have been seized. Also seized were land titles, vehicle registration documents, computers and more than RM60,000 in local and Indonesian currency, said police commercial crimes investigations department (CCID) director Commissioner Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani. The suspect is believed to be the son of the syndicate's mastermind. Acryl Sani said the arrest and seizures were made in the Klang Valley after police received 248 police reports from disgruntled investors. The syndicate had offered its investors three investment plans ranging from RM1,885 to RM16,422 for between one and 10 metric tonnes of CPO, promising them returns of between 15% and 30% payable every 12th working day. As with a pyramid scheme, the syndicate paid out incentives to those who recruited other people to invest in the scheme. "In the beginning, when they started the scheme in early 2016, the syndicate paid profits to their investors, we believe, to lure and win their trust," Acryl Sani said. "However, when more investments poured in, the syndicate wound up operations and fled with about RM31 million it had received." Acryl Sani said other than investigating the case under cheating, police have also initiated action against the syndicate for money-laundering. "We advise the public to be always cautious and not fall victim to such frauds. When offered investment opportunities that pay out high returns over a short period of time, always check with the relevant government agencies to verify if the company is legitimate," he said. Over the last year, under the pretext of running foreign currency, commodities and products trading, various syndicates have fleeced tens of thousands of people of hundreds of millions in ringgit with promises of high profits for their investments. But such schemes were merely Ponzi or pyramid scams. While the "first generation" investors would usually get some of the promised profits, the majority of downline members, were often left in the lurch when the syndicate members wind up operations and make off with the money.