Seven remanded for four days to assist in SMS scam

PUTRAJAYA: Seven individuals have been remanded for four days to assist in investigations into the activities of a syndicate allegedly raking in millions of ringgit by manipulating personal information of mobile phone users.

They were among eight people, comprising company directors and technical staff from three companies, detained during a special operation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) around the Klang Valley yesterday.

Magistrate Shah Wira Abdul Halim issued the remand order, beginning today until July 25, after allowing the application from the MACC under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code at the Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court here today.

Another person was released on MACC bail.

According to a source from MACC, all the individuals are suspected of being involved, through the three companies that are being investigated, in providing SMS content service, which is a paid short message service (SMS), to mobile phone users nationwide.

The source said that these companies, which are believed to have been operating for the past five years, had sent out SMSes providing promotional and other services to customers and charging fees of RM0.50 to RM4 for each SMS sent without the users’ consent.

According to the source, the syndicate mostly targeted prepaid customers.

In addition to the profits collected illegally from mobile phone users, the syndicate also made claims to the telecommunication companies as service charge, the source said.

The syndicate is also believed to have bribed personnel at the telecommunication companies to reveal the customers’ mobile numbers and personal information. — Bernama