KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 ― Police arrested nine locals, including a man who used a fake “Datuk Seri” title on suspicion of being involved in a non-existent investment fraud syndicate Planetrade, in separate raids on Monday.

Bukit Aman Commercial CID director Datuk Mohd Kamarudin Md Din said all the suspects, including six women aged between 41 and 62, were nabbed around Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang.

He said a total of 21 reports were received, with 12 in Kuala Lumpur, five in Selangor, two in Kelantan and one each in Melaka and Terengganu involving a loss of RM3.32 million.

“The investigation found that a 46-year-old man who used a fake ‘Datuk Seri’ title was the mastermind in the case and he allegedly owned four companies to carry out the non-existent investment activities.

“Other suspects are agents or those actively carrying out the activities of the companies and all of them are remanded for between two to four days starting March 2 to assist in the investigation,” he said at a press conference at Menara KPJ here today.

He said a total of 27 accounts suspected to be related to the case amounting to RM755,000, as well as the mastermind’s shares in the four companies have been frozen, to assist in the investigation.

Mohd Kamarudin said six luxury cars were also seized, including a Bentley, two Toyota Vellfires, a Mercedes Benz GLC 200 and various company registration documents as well as investment-related documents.

“Investigations found that the syndicate started operating in January 2021 and offered the purchase of ‘preference shares’ which promised a fixed profit rate of around four to five per cent per month from the capital invested.

“Investors are also assured that the investment money is invested in various shariah-compliant investments in and outside the country to ensure large and stable profits,” he said.

He said the investigation also found that an investor had suffered a loss of RM4.6 million but the victim had not come forward to lodge a police report.

He explained that in the early stages, investors would receive the promised monthly profits but after a few months, the syndicate would no longer communicate with the victims.

He said the case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for committing fraud, the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 and the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA) 1959. ― Bernama