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Sabah party leader nabbed for allegedly masterminding ID scam syndicate

THE STAR – The president of Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah has been detained for allegedly being the mastermind of an identification document scam syndicate, said Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

The minister said the political party president, identified as Mohd Arshad Abdul Mualap, 48, was detained along with another man – Mohamad Amkah Ahmad, 46, – in Subang Jaya on June 22 and they were charged in court yesterday.

“We believe the syndicate has been operating for at least a few months. They were selling invalid ICs for those without Malaysian citizenship,” he told a press conference in Bukit Aman yesterday.

The syndicate claimed that the cards, which were also equipped with QR codes, would give holders benefits, including medical and education.

“The duo were detained under Section 420 of Penal Code for cheating.

“They were targetting mostly foreigners,” he added.

Malaysian Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin looks at evidence. PHOTO: THE STAR

Hamzah said an overseas-based foreigner gave him the tip-off and he passed the information to the Royal Malaysia Police, who took action.

“We believe the syndicate has duped hundreds of victims,” he said.

It is learnt that the syndicate sold the cards priced between MYR500 and MYR1,000.

Hamzah said there are only four valid identification cards in the country.

“The blue card is issued to Malaysian citizens, the red card is for foreigners with permanent resident status, green for foreigners who work in Malaysia and brown for Malaysians convicted of severe crimes.

“These are the only valid identification cards in the country so I urge the public not to be fooled by such syndicates. In Sabah, temporary documents known as IMM13 are issued to foreigners by the Immigration Department,” he said.

Hamzah said the ministry has never instructed any other party to issue any other identification cards.