ALOR SETAR: Police arrested a total of 19 individuals believed to be involved in a syndicate using and selling unrecognised state awards and titles in a recent operation.

Kedah police chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said all the local suspects, aged between 30 and 63, were detained at several locations around the state and several other states.

“On Oct 5 2021, a complaint was received from the Kedah State Secretary’s Office which involved several irresponsible individuals using the Darjah Kebesaran Setia Diraja Kedah (DSDK) before being conferred by the Sultan of Kedah.

“Acting on the report, Kedah contingent police headquarters CID conducted an operation and arrested 19 local men and women from various backgrounds,“ he said in a statement here yesterday.

He said following the arrests, police also confiscated several items including accessories and documents as well as related equipment used by the syndicate to carry out the fraud.

Among them are a fake Jemaah Dato Negeri Kedah membership card, state coat of arms and several items related to the awards.

Kamarul Zaman said the investigation found that the syndicate had been active since 2015 by using the modus operandi of approaching individuals identified as elitist rich and businessmen.

He said the syndicate then offered the Kedah State honourary titles by asking for a payment believed to be ranging from RM25,000 to RM103,000.

He said the case was being investigated under Section 13 of the Offences Relating to Awards Act 2017 (Act 787) and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588).

“People are advised not to fall victim to syndicates like this. If anyone receives an award without recognition, they can check with the Kedah State Government through the stipulated official channels,” he said. — Bernama