Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Police arrest 23 over online shopping scam

BUKIT MERTAJAM (BERNAMA) – Malaysian Police busted a foreign online shopping scam after detaining 23 men and women from Taiwan in a raid on a luxury bungalow in the Batu Feringghi area last Saturday.

Penang police chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said a team from the state Commercial Crime Investigation Department (JSJK) raided the three-storey luxury bungalow at 6.30pm following a public tip-off.

“We arrested 17 men and six women, aged 19 to 48, in the bungalow, and initial investigation showed they were employees of a syndicate and entered Malaysia legally last month,” he told a press conference yesterday.

He said the syndicate had been operating in the bungalow since last May and its modus operandi was to advertise branded items such as handbags, clothes and watches sold online at cheap prices targetted at buyers from Taiwan.

Mohd Shuhaily said unsuspecting buyers were deceived by advertisements and made payments through the platform from the syndicate’s link but were never sent the goods.

Penang Police Chief Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain shows seized items allegedly use in the online shopping scam. PHOTO: BERNAMA

He said no local bank account was involved in the transactions while all the detainees claimed that they were lured by lucrative salaries of MYR7,000 advertised by the syndicate on social media in Taiwan, but were only paid MYR5,000.

The police also confiscated 46 mobile phones, 14 laptops, 12 prepaid cards, eight iPads, six walkie talkies, mobile Wi-Fi and a Wi-Fi router, while the detained were remanded for six days to assist in the investigation under Section 420 of the Penal Code for fraud.

In another development, he said police had recorded the testimonies of the organisers of a flashmob and seven individuals, who were demanding for cheaper goods at a gathering near the Seberang Jaya roundabout at 5pm last Friday.

He said some 30 people attended the flashmob, which carried out without a police permit, but which took place peacefully and ended an hour later.

“The group’s action to hold a rally near the roundabout is not only dangerous to them but also road users because it is congested with vehicles,” he added.