ISKANDAR PUTERI: Eleven locals, believed to be members of a loan scam syndicate which caused losses of up to RM1.3 million nationwide, were detained in police raids, here recently.
Iskandar Puteri district police chief, ACP Dzulkhairi Mukhtar, said with the arrests, police believed they had crippled the syndicate which was allegedly the same group involved in 162 fraud cases across the country.
He said the syndicate which comprised of seven men and four women, most of whom were from Negri Sembilan, were detained at three different locations in Bukit Indah, here, on Jan 27.
“The syndicate has been active in Iskandar Puteri for the last six months and is believed to have moved from one housing estate to another to avoid detection by police,“ Dzulkhairi said at the Iskandar Puteri district police headquarters today.
Various items including SIM cards, smartphones and a printer were also seized from the locations.
Dzulkhairi said the group’s modus operandi was to contact the victims to offer them loans.
The group also printed fake Inland Revenue Board (IRB) stamp duty receipts to convince the victims that the loans offered were secure and in accordance with the law.
“After the victims sent the loan documents through WhatsApp, the suspects would contact the victims, saying that the loans had been approved, and then asking the victims to pay between RM300 and RM500, supposedly for tax and the suspects would produce the IRB stamp duty receipts which would be sent to the victims.
“The suspects would then ask the victims to pay up to RM3,000 as insurance payment to cover the loan agreement.
“They would send the image of a fake cheque to the victims and request another RM1,000 to RM5,000, the reason being that the information in the cheque was incorrect and that a new cheque had to be issued,” he said, adding that the victims would be deceived with the promise that the loan would be credited into their account.
“Each suspect was paid a basic salary of RM1,500 and commission of five to 10%, based on the amount paid by the victim,“ he added.
Dzulkhairi said 53 such cases were reported in the Iskandar Puteri district in 2018, with an estimated loss of RM700,000.
As of Jan 19, eight more cases were reported with about RM32,000 in losses.
The cases are being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code and those found guilty can be jailed for up to 10 years and whipped, and are also liable to a fine. — Bernama