3 Datuks held over RM1b for­eign ex­change scam

Cops also seize as­sets worth RM10.5 mil­lion

New Straits Times - - FRONT PAGE - NU­RUL HIDAYAH BAHAUDIN

THREE Datuks were ar­rested in raids in the city on Feb 10 for their sus­pected in­volve­ment in a for­eign ex­change scam, which is be­lieved to have raked in RM1 bil­lion.

Fed­eral Com­mer­cial Crime De­part­ment di­rec­tor Datuk Seri Amar Singh said the sus­pects, aged be­tween 35 and 49, were ar­rested af­ter po­lice re­ceived 116 re­ports con­cern­ing losses to­talling RM6.2 mil­lion from the syn­di­cate’s ac­tiv­i­ties na­tion­wide.

“We seized 13 lux­ury cars, three su­per­bikes, 10 gold bars weigh­ing 100g each, lux­ury watches and hand­bags, as well as sev­eral doc­u­ments.

“We re­ceived 116 re­ports on the fi­nan­cial losses be­tween Oc­to­ber 2016 and Fe­bru­ary.

“A to­tal of 30 in­ves­ti­ga­tion pa­pers were opened.

“How­ever, we es­ti­mate that there are around 70,000 scam vic­tims who in­curred losses of around RM1 bil­lion,” he said at a press con­fer­ence in Bukit Aman yes­ter­day.

He said the au­thor­i­ties had frozen 38 bank ac­counts be­long­ing to 17 in­di­vid­u­als, be­lieved to be linked to the syn­di­cate. The ac­counts con­tained RM624,000.

“We also froze as­sets in the form of a RM5 mil­lion bun­ga­low as well as a Fer­rari es­ti­mated to be worth RM1.5 mil­lion.

“In to­tal, the as­sets seized are es­ti­mated to be worth RM10.5 mil­lion,” he said.

Amar said the syn­di­cate, which had been ac­tive since 2013, lured po­ten­tial vic­tims by pro­mot­ing its in­vest­ment scheme on­line, of­fer­ing monthly re­turns of 12 per cent.

“The syn­di­cate would or­gan­ise sem­i­nars in ho­tels, where it would con­vince peo­ple to in­vest their money in a for­eign ex­change scheme.

“The syn­di­cate would also use a com­pany reg­is­tered with the Com­pa­nies Com­mis­sion of Malaysia and pro­mote its se­nior man­age­ment com­pris­ing Datuks,” he said.

He said the sus­pects were de­tained un­der the Pre­ven­tion of Crime Act (POCA) 1959. The case is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated un­der Sec­tion 420 of the Pe­nal Code and the Anti-Money Laun­der­ing, Anti-Ter­ror­ism Fi­nanc­ing and Pro­ceeds of Un­law­ful Ac­tiv­i­ties Act (AMLA) 2001.

Amar said po­lice were search­ing for a cou­ple, whom he de­scribed as the syn­di­cate’s master­minds.

“We are look­ing for Datuk Pandeyan Maruthamuthu, 55, and his wife, Datin Gouri C. Faskuny, 56, who are be­lieved to have fled to a neigh­bour­ing coun­try on Sun­day just as the raids be­gan.

“Any­one with in­for­ma­tion on the sus­pects can con­tact the near­est po­lice sta­tion,” he said.

Amar also ad­vised the pub­lic not to be duped by in­vest­ments schemes that of­fered lu­cra­tive re­turns in a short span of time.

PIC BY SYARAFIQ ABD SA­MAD

Fed­eral Com­mer­cial Crime De­part­ment di­rec­tor Datuk Seri Amar Singh (left) with the seized cars at the Bukit Aman po­lice head­quar­ters in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.