JOHOR BARU, Feb 10 — Nine individuals, including two Indonesian women, were arrested for their alleged involvement in bitcoin investment fraud after several raids in residential areas here yesterday.
The raids were conducted by police from the Johor contingent’s anti-vice, gambling and secret societies division (D7) and also the Johor Baru South district police commercial crime division.
Johor Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Salleh Abdullah said five laptops, 54 mobile phones and a Wi-Fi modem were also seized.
He said initial investigations revealed that the suspects are believed to have been involved in non-existent online bitcoin investments that had elements of money game fraud.
“Further checks revealed that the suspects received a monthly salary of RM3,000 each as well as an eight per cent commission from proceeds of the fraud,” said Mohd Salleh in a statement issued here today.
Mohd Salleh said the suspects’ modus operandi usually involved finding and engaging victims on social media.
“They usually started a conversation to gain their victims’ trust, before encouraging them to ‘invest’ in the bitcoin scheme.
“The suspects also encouraged their victims by promising a 50 per cent commission if they convinced their friends or acquaintances to invest as well,” he said.
Mohd Salleh said checks found that all the male suspects are Malaysians.
He said the local suspects were remanded for two days until tomorrow to facilitate investigations under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
“The female Indonesian suspects were remanded for 14 days until February 22 to assist the investigation under Section 51(5)b of the Immigration Act 1951/63,” said Mohd Salleh.
He said Johor police advise the public to be careful if offered the chance to participate in any investment scheme with questionable returns.