Friday, July 9, 2010

Couple who tricked banks with fraudulent withdrawals arrested

Friday July 9, 2010
Couple who tricked banks with fraudulent withdrawals arrested
By M. KUMAR
kumar@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: A young couple has been arrested for “tricking” banks. They would deposit fake money into a cash deposit machine (CDM) and withdraw real cash from an auto-teller machine (ATM).

Within a month, they had withdrawn up to RM23,000.

However, bank officials got wise to their game.

Police laid a trap for the couple after bank officials detected the trick at three of their branches in Johor Bahru.

The man and his wife were caught red-handed.

Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department deputy operations director Asst Comm Rohaimi Md Isa told a press conference yesterday the couple committed the crime almost daily and, at times, would withdraw up to RM1,000 a day.

In another case, police arrested 21 people — most of them Africans — for running “parcel scams.”

The police also seized 13 laptops, 16 mobile phones, several bundles of counterfeit US$100 bills, and RM42,979 in cash.

The scam involves a syndicate member approaching a prospective victim to say there is a parcel from overseas to be delivered to him or her.

The victim would then receive a call from another syndicate member, impersonating as a customs officer, who would ask for some cash to be sent to a bank before the item can be cleared by the Customs.

The syndicates’ victims were largely single women in their 40’s, who they befriended via the Internet.

ACP Rohaimi said that this was not a new scam as there were 591 cases — with reported losses of RM16mil — last year.

“This year, there have so far been 253 cases with RM4.7mil in losses,” he said.

ACP Rohaimi said a Malaysian woman was among those arrested. They are all in their 20s and 30s.

They were picked following a series of raids in the Klang Valley over the past two weeks.

“This syndicate is responsible for 83 parcel scams, with losses of up to RM500,000.”

ACP Rohaimi said some members of these syndicates were also involved in “black money” scams.

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