PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian woman and her husband, a foreigner, were arrested on Monday for carrying out illegal cryptocurrency mining and online gambling activities in Ara Damansara.
Police also seized RM1.41 million in local currency from the 27-year-old woman, who was a banker turned businesswoman, and her 33-year-old spouse.
Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said yesterday a team from the district and federal commercial crimes investigations department (CCID) raided a terrace house at about 1.15pm on suspicion of illegal activities being conducted there and arrested the couple.
He said checks on several computers found in the house showed the suspects were allegedly involved in cryptocurrency mining without being registered with Bank Negara Malaysia.
Police also found a safe in a storeroom at the house that the couple refused to open despite being ordered by police to do so.
The team then requested assistance from the Fire and Rescue Department to force open the safe, that contained RM1.41 in cash.
Nik Ezanee said in a follow-up operation, the foreigner led police to an apartment at Sunway Lagoon Resort condominiums, where a 31-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman, both foreigners, were held.
Both the suspects admitted to working for the husband of the Malaysian woman.
“Initial investigations show the duo were hired to create online gaming applications and were each paid RM9,000 a month. Checks on their computers also revealed they were involved in online cryptocurrency investments and online gaming. They were targeting the Chinese market. We do not discount the possibility of their involvement in money-laundering activities. Investigations are ongoing to determine where the seized cash came from. The four suspects are being held under a four-day remand order and we are looking for the remaining members of this syndicate,” he said.
The bust also uncovered a new tactic by such syndicates, which no longer run a large operation in a single location but scatter its members in various areas to avoid being easily traced by police.