Johor cops cripple fraud syndicate with arrest of 10 suspects

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay (left) holds a document detailing the investigation into the syndicate’s activities. — Picture courtesy of the Johor police contingent headquarters
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay (left) holds a document detailing the investigation into the syndicate’s activities. — Picture courtesy of the Johor police contingent headquarters

JOHOR BARU, Nov 23 — Johor police believe that they have crippled a syndicate supplying bank accounts for a Macau Scam syndicate as well as to non-existent loan and investment scammers after several of its members were arrested in Taman Perling and Tampoi here last week.

Police personnel from the Taman Perling police station and the Johor Baru North Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) nabbed 10 of the syndicate’s members in two separate raids last Wednesday.

Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspects consisted of seven men and three women aged between 19 and 41.

He said the police initiated the first arrest at 12.30pm last Wednesday on three men and a woman who were inside a car in Taman Perling.

“After interrogation, the suspects led investigators to a second raid on a house around the Tampoi area before another four men and two women were arrested,” said Ayob Khan during a press conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.

Also present were Johor Baru North police chief Assistant Commissioner Rupiah Abd Wahid and other senior officers.

Ayob Khan said all the suspects tested positive for drugs, besides having previous criminal records related to drugs as well as fraud.

He added that the syndicate’s modus operandi was to collect automatic teller machine (ATM) cards with valid accounts, which were then sold to Macau Scam syndicates and non-existent loan and investment scammers.

He explained that members of the syndicate targeted drug addicts to use their bank accounts with a payment of RM200 for each ATM card.

“After the account was successfully opened, the syndicate member handed over the ATM card to the syndicate’s leader before the member was paid RM100 and the victim RM200 for the ATM card along with its personal Identification number (PIN).

“The syndicate’s leader then sold the ATM cards to three fraud syndicates, namely the Macau Scam and non-existent loan and investment scammers,” said Ayob Khan.

The state’s top cop said the syndicate was headed by a 38-year-old man going by the name of Muhammad Raif Lee Abdullah, who is also known as Allan or Frankie.

“The suspect is still currently on the police wanted list and is thought to have fled the country to avoid arrest,” said Ayob Khan.

“The syndicate is believed to have been active since last February, with a total of 91 cases nationwide involving a loss of RM3.74 million.

“His last known address was No. 03-07 Block 3, Jalan Mewah Ria 2/2, Taman Bukit Mewah in Johor Baru.”

He urged those with information to go to their nearest police station or contact the Johor CCID officer Assistant Superintendent Timmy Anak Aheng at 019-7773728.

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