China-based online scam syndicate busted, 680 Chinese nationals held

PUTRAJAYA (Nov 21): The Immigration Department busted a China-based online investment scam syndicate and detained 680 Chinese nationals involved in operations in Cyberjaya, yesterday.

Immigration director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said an immigration team stormed the sixth floor of a building in Cyberjaya at around 11am yesterday, believed to be the call centre for fraudulent activities targeting the Chinese population as victims.

The raid, after two months of surveillance, involving 150 immigration personnel also led to the seizure of 8,230 mobile phones, 174 laptops and 787 personal computers, he said.

Khairul Dzaimee said some immigration officials suffered minor injuries when the suspects attacked them in a bid to escape.

“About 100 to 120 people have escaped, and some Chinese nationals who have been detained also suffered scratches and minor injuries,” he told a press conference here today.

Khairul Dzaimee said the syndicate was believed to have been operating for the last six months by renting the place at RM360,000 a month.

“The syndicate’s modus operandi is to offer victims high and quick profits where the suspects, acting as operators, will send a code to customers from certain websites where the applications are in Chinese,” he said.

Dzaimee Khairul said the suspects entered the country using social visit passes, but almost all of them couldn’t produce their passports when they were detained and until now no one has come forward to submit their documents.

All the suspects comprising 603 men and 77 women have been remanded for 14 days, he said.

They can be convicted of violating the pass requirements, entering and residing in Malaysia without a valid pass and overstaying the time allowed, he said.

All the items were seized under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLA), he said, adding that the Chinese embassy had been informed of the arrests.

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