3 Datuks held over RM1b foreign exchange scam
Cops also seize assets worth RM10.5 million
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.
Federal Commercial Crime Department director Datuk Seri Amar Singh (left) with the seized cars at the Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.