KUALA LUMPUR: An internet fraud syndicate, dubbed 'African Scam' was busted following the arrest of 19 suspects, including 17 African men in several raids around the city early this month.
Crime Investigation Department chief ACP Izany Abdul Ghany said the
suspects, including a Thai woman and a local woman aged between 22 and
44, were nabbed around the city centre, Kepong, Pandan Perdana and Taman
"The African men were detained for using student passes
of a private college. Their activities were exposed after they cheated a
hotel employee of RM6,800," he told a press conference at Cheras police
headquarters here, on Tuesday.
He said a member of the
syndicate was believed to have posed as a woman on a social networking
site with the aim of fostering a love relation with the hotel staff
before deceiving him.
The syndicate's modus operandi was to
convince the victim that an item sent to him from overseas was seized by
the immigration authority and the victim had to pay RM6,800 to retrieve
it. "The victim, however, did not receive the item after the payment
was made, but instead was asked to make another payment of RM10,000 of
which he declined. Realising that he was cheated, he lodge a police
report," he said.
During the raids, police also seized several
items believed to be used in the scam, including 14 laptop computers, 27
mobile phones, seven company stamps, four savings account books, two
cheque books and two disc drivers.
Izany said that since early
this year, 68 investigation papers had been opened on the 'African Scam'
syndicate, and 110 people had been arrested so far, including 93
African nationals, 44 of whom were charged in court.