KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: In a wee morning operation on Thursday (21 Sep), authorities in Kuala Lumpur took decisive action against a significant online job scam syndicate following weeks of intelligence gathering.
The operation, conducted jointly by the Commercial Crime Investigation Division of the Dang Wangi District Police and the Commercial Crime Investigation Department of the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent Headquarters, targeted two residential units located in the bustling Persiaran KLCC area.
A total of 23 individuals were apprehended during the raid, which unfolded around 12:15 AM, said Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Noor Dellhan Yahaya in a press statement.
The detained individuals included 12 local men, 9 male foreigners, and 2 female foreigners, with ages spanning from 18 to 52 years.
Preliminary investigations into the syndicate’s activities unveiled that they had been operating covertly for almost a month, with a primary focus on targeting victims abroad through various social media applications.
To lure unsuspecting individuals, the syndicate had ingeniously constructed fake personal profiles, enticing their victims with the promise of lucrative commissions.
Alarming discoveries emerged during further scrutiny, revealing that two of the detained individuals had prior criminal records.
Consequently, all those taken into custody have been remanded for a four-day period, commencing from September 21 to September 24, 2023, to facilitate an extensive investigation.
The case has been registered under Section 420/511 of the Penal Code, reflecting the gravity of the charges.
The Malaysian authorities also seized a cache of electronic equipment, including 31 mobile phones, 14 central processing units (CPUs), 14 monitors, 10 keyboards, 10 computer mice, a laptop, one router, a modem, and an access card.
In light of this operation’s success, the Police urge the public to remain vigilant and actively collaborate with law enforcement agencies by promptly reporting any suspicious or unlawful activities.
Malaysian escapes month-long job scam ordeal at Thai-Myanmar border
Recently, a 23-year-old Malaysian, who fell victim to a human trafficking syndicate’s deceptive job offer, has been successfully rescued from Myawaddy, Myanmar after a harrowing month-long ordeal, all without having to pay a ransom.
The victim, Mr Lai responded to a Facebook job offer in early August promising daily earnings of RM200 in Thailand, only to find himself ensnared in a trap that led him to Myanmar. Agents had purchased his round-trip tickets to Bangkok.
Upon arrival, he and another individual from Penang were transported to Myanmar, where Mr Lai sensed something was wrong and discreetly contacted his family.
Although he wasn’t initially subjected to abuse, he was coerced into fraudulent activities, including creating counterfeit Facebook accounts. When they discovered his contact with authorities, he was physically assaulted, resulting in visible bruises and burn injuries.
Desperation mounts as 30 Malaysian victims remain stranded in Myanmar
Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim, the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Humanitarian Organization (MHO), has brought attention to the distressing plight of approximately 30 victims who have fallen victim to job scams and remain stranded in Myanmar.
Furthermore, the grim reality is that many of these cases have endured for over a year without any sign of resolution.
He went on to describe the modus operandi of the syndicate, which typically contacts victims’ families to demand exorbitant ransoms.
Failure to comply results in victims being subjected to abuse, deprivation of food, and physical assaults with blunt objects.
The ransom amounts demanded by the syndicate have ranged from RM30,000 to RM150,000, creating a heavy burden for the victims’ families.
In one instance, a family had already paid RM150,000, only to find that the syndicate had not released the victim as promised.
In the most recent case, a family was coerced into paying a staggering RM1.2 million (US$ 255,781), having already disbursed RM90,000 to the syndicate to secure the victim’s release.
This financial strain forced the family to sell their land to obtain the necessary funds.
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