Online sales scam syndicate dismantled, 23 Taiwanese nationals arrested

BUKIT MERTAJAM: A total of 23 people, including six women, were arrested in an operation against an online sales scam syndicate in Batu Ferringhi.

Penang Police Chief Comm Datuk Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said the suspects, believed to be Taiwanese nationals between the ages of 19 and 48, were arrested in a raid on a three-story luxury bungalow in Batu Ferringhi Saturday June 25 evening.

“During the 6:30 p.m. raid, a team from the state’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) and George Town Police seized several items from the home.

“The confiscated items were 46 cell phones, 14 units of laptop computers of various brands, eight Ipads, six walkie-talkies, 12 prepaid cards, two units of card readers, two USB keys, a portable WiFi unit and a WiFi router ,” he said during a press conference at Central Seberang Prai police headquarters on Monday (June 27).

He said investigations revealed the union had been operating on the premises since mid-May this year.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the suspects were attracted by the union job opportunity which offered a monthly salary of up to RM7,000.

He added that interrogations of the suspects revealed that none of them were paid that high, with the highest paid receiving around RM5,000 a month.

Regarding the union’s modus operandi, Comm Mohd Shuhaily said the union advertises branded items for sale online to Taiwanese nationals.

“Victims who have been duped by the ads will be asked to make payment through an online platform where the syndicate will provide the link to the customer,” he said.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said investigations also revealed that no local bank accounts were involved in the transactions.

He said so far only Taiwanese nationals have been victimized by the union, but police are still investigating whether a Malaysian has been victimized.

He said the police are still investigating the mastermind of the union and the total loss of union business.

He advised the public to use the webpage ccid.rmp.gov.my/semakmule/ to cross-check sellers’ account details.

“The public should always be careful when buying things online and not make any transactions or transfer money to unknown accounts,” he said.

He said the system and app will allow the public to verify any suspicious bank account or phone number.

The case is being investigated under Article 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.


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David A. Albanese