Cops nab woman over alleged RM3.99m umrah package scam

Cash and other items seized from the suspect involved in an umrah package scam are displayed during a press conference by the police in Shah Alam July 31,2018. — Picture by  Ahmad Zamzahuri
Cash and other items seized from the suspect involved in an umrah package scam are displayed during a press conference by the police in Shah Alam July 31,2018. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

SHAH ALAM, July 31 ― Police have arrested a 32-year-old woman for allegedly swindling RM3.99 million off a local tour agency director and pilgrims over umrah packages.

Selangor police chief Commissioner Datuk Pahlawan Mazlan Mansor said the 32-year-old suspect who claimed to be a “Datuk” and managed a tour agency had gotten in touch with the victim to manage umrah packages back in November last year.

“Both the suspect and the victim agreed to work mutually by having the victim secure three Malaysia Airlines Berhad planes to transport pilgrims to Mecca whom the suspect had secured.”

“The suspect had agreed to pay RM1.33 million for each plane, about two weeks before the planes departed for Saudi Arabia,” he said.

He said several weeks later, the victim received payment proof through WhatsApp totalling RM3.99 million deposited into the victim's company account on December 1.

“However the victim realised the RM3.99 million cheque deposited had bounced and was fake after verifying the payment proof sent by the suspect.

“The victim then had to bear the cost paid to the airline company over flight expenses totalling RM3.99 million before lodging a police report on December 23,” he added at least 40 police reports were lodged within Selangor in connection with the suspect.

Police believed the suspect had been active for at least two years and has no known accomplice.

Investigation also revealed the suspect's tour company was a registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia but did not have the necessary tour agency licence from the Tourism Ministry.

Following a tip-off from the public, a police team from the Selangor Commercial Crime Investigations Department managed to locate the suspect at an apartment in Nilai, Negri Sembilan on July 25.

During the raid, police also seized several belongings such as jewellery, luxury handbags and RM38,200 from the suspect.

Mazlan said victims who were cheated by the suspect were urged to come forward and have their statements taken by the police to assist in investigations.

“We would also like to thank the public for their effort in locating the suspect after the police issued a wanted person notice on April 13 this year,” he said.

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