JOHOR BAHRU: Johor police have busted a syndicate for providing bank accounts to scammers with the arrest of 10 members here last Wednesday (Nov 18), said Johor Police chief Datuk Ayub Khan Mydin Pitchay (pix).
The syndicate, dubbed ‘Kumpulan Allan’, has been actively carrying out activities to provide automated teller machine (ATM) cards to the Macau Scam syndicate as well as non-existent loans and investments around the city.
Ayob Khan said the 10 suspects, aged between 19 and 41, were believed to have acted as ATM card collectors and sourcing for ATM cards by paying RM400 for each card.
“On Nov 18, at about 12.30 pm, personnel from the Commercial Crime Investigation Division of the Johor Bahru Utara District Police Headquarters, together with the crime prevention members of Taman Perling Station, had stopped a car with four people - three men and a woman. This led to the discovery of ATM cards, several documents such as notebooks containing suspicious account numbers.
“Following the arrest, police raided two houses around Tampoi and detained four men and two women as well as items such as notebooks containing names, bank account numbers and ATM card PIN (personal identification numbers),” he told reporters here today, adding that this was the first time that police have managed to stop such criminal activities.
Ayob Khan said one of the suspects was the leader of the group collecting ATM cards in the Larkin and Jalan Wong Ah Fook areas here, adding that they also targeted account holders among drug addicts.
He said that the syndicate had been active since February, with its modus operandi being collecting ATM cards to be sold to scammers.
These ATM cards, complete with the PIN, would be collected and handed over to the syndicate leader, either ‘Allan’ or ‘Frankie’.
Police, he said, are currently tracking down the group leader identified as Muhammad Raif Lee Abdullah or Frankie or Allan, aged 38.
Ayob Khan said police had also detected 91 cases involving the syndicate nationwide, with losses amounting to more than RM3.7 million and that the case would be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Ayob Khan has slammed a human right activist for making slanderous statements against him on Facebook by allegedly questioning his integrity in carrying out his duty.
“I have no problem with criticism, it’s normal, but don’t slander, make false accusations as action will be taken,” he said.
He said investigations found that the man who made the allegations, K. Haridas, had 10 criminal records in Selangor, Johor and Negeri Sembilan related to the sedition act and various cases according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
Apart from that, Ayob Khan said Haridas also belonged to an association that is not registered with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) and that an investigation paper had been opened against the 39-year-old man.
A video, lasting 17 minutes and 40 seconds, had gone viral a few days ago on the Defend People’s Rights Group Facebook page featuring a man questioning Ayob Khan’s integrity in carrying out his duty as well as the leadership of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.
The man had also claimed that he had previously lodged complaints regarding police misconduct but no action was taken. — Bernama