Police in Kuala Lumpur detained 25 foreigners including Nigerians, who were part of a Love Scam syndicate in six raids conducted in the Klang Valley.
Speaking during the Press conference at the Federal Police headquarters on Thursday, September 13, Datuk Ahmad Noordin Ismail, Federal Police Commercial Crimes Investigation Department deputy director (cyber crime and multimedia investigations) said the foreigners, who were Nigerians, Tanzanians and Thai nationals, aged between 21 and 40.
“Various devices including laptops, mobile phones and ATM cards used by the suspects were also confiscated during the operation. Checks on the devices showed over 1,500 people from China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, United States and Malaysia who were under the syndicate’s surveillance as potential victims,” he said.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that 10 cases involving an overall loss of RM500,000 were linked to this syndicate reported nationwide,” he added.
Ahmad Noordin said modus operandi employed by the syndicate involve posing as middle-aged man who was looking for a life partner.
He would then befriend victims through Facebook and gain their trust.
“After gaining the victim’s trust, the syndicate would inform the former that it would send a parcel containing cash and jewellery as a symbol of their relationship. The victims would then receive a phone call for an individual saying that the parcel was detained by the authorities and that they would need to pay a certain amount to recover it.
“The suspect would also use a third party banking facilities by asking the victim to surrender their ATM cards through postal service,” he said.
Ahmad Noordin said the suspects were being remanded to facilitate investigation under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and Section 6 (1) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963.
“The public are advised to be apply extra cautious when using social media and not to fall prey to people they befriend through the application. Also, don’t ever give access of your bank accounts to criminals as this could land account holders into trouble and could be investigated under Section 424 of the Penal Code,” he said.