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Kuala Lumpur, Nov 3: In a significant crackdown on fraudulent financial schemes, Malaysian police have dismantled a cryptocurrency scam ring, resulting in the arrest of 40 suspects and the prevention of further losses that had already surpassed RM50 million.
Massive Operation Leads to Multiple Arrests
The operation, spearheaded by the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department under the leadership of Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf, spanned three days and was executed across the nation, starting October 29. Those apprehended range in age from 20 to 55 and include a diverse group of professionals.
Syndicate Targets a Broad Demographic
The Commercial Crime Investigation Department’s director revealed that the victims, whose ages range from 22 to 81, included many retirees and business figures. These individuals were lured into what was promised as lucrative cryptocurrency investment opportunities.
Sophisticated Scam Tactics
The scam, according to Ramli, was strategically designed to give investors the illusion of control by allowing them to witness the purported growth of their investments in real-time. However, when it came to withdrawing their funds, investors found themselves unable to do so.
The Use of Mule Accounts
A new strategy observed by the authorities involved the utilization of legitimate businesses as vehicles for fraudulent activities. Ramli indicated that at least 73 bank accounts and 51 companies were implicated, hinting at a wide network designed to mask the illicit flow of funds.
Preying on the Vulnerable
Ramli elaborated on the syndicate’s method of recruiting individuals in dire financial straits to set up companies in their name, only to be exploited as mule accounts. These individuals were often compensated with a one-time or monthly payment for their involvement.
The operation has shone a light on the extensive nature of the scam, and the police are conducting further investigations under Section 420 of the Penal Code, which addresses cheating offenses. The authorities have not only brought the alleged perpetrators into custody but have also taken steps to foreclose the continuation of this criminal enterprise, providing a semblance of relief to those affected.
This action marks a firm stance by Malaysian law enforcement against financial crimes, particularly those involving emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies.
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