The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has denied sending the letters that have gone viral on social media, asking for monetary payments in exchange for cases under investigation to be closed.
In a statement today, the MACC, which has received 11 complaints so far, said the letters asking for money to be paid into a bitcoin account were fake.
“Recently, the MACC has received numerous complaints from the public who have been deceived by the fake letter,” said MACC Deputy Chief of Operations Datuk Seri Azam Baki.
“The MACC strictly emphasises that the commission has never contacted any parties through letters to close any corruption cases,” added Azam.
“In this regard, those who receive any dubious letters are advised to seek confirmation from the nearest MACC office at 1-800-88-6000 and the address posted on the official portal www.sprm.gov.my.
“We also hope that the public will be more sensitive and share this information with the community to avoid being deceived by the fake letter.”
The letters on social media claimed that the recipients were being investigated by the MACC and will soon be apprehended and charged under the MACC Act of 2009 and jailed up to 20 years with a fine not exceeding five times of the total bribe.
It ended with an offer to drop the case if the money was deposited into an unnamed account within 30 days.
The fake letters in Bahasa Malaysia are titled ‘Offer to close case’ and were purportedly from the head of MACC’s investigation department.
It reads: “Referring to the matter above, for Datuk’s information, an investigation paper has been opened by the MACC to investigate you for corruption.
“Based on investigations and evidence, Datuk will be arrested and charged under Section 16 of the MACC Act 2009 that carries a jail sentence of not exceeding 20 years and fine no less than five times the amount of the bribe.
“As such, I would like to offer to close the investigation paper and destroy the evidence. If Datuk is interested, please make a RM50,000 payment into the bitcoin account as shown below in 30 days from the date of this letter.”
Before MACC, other parties including law enforcement agencies like the police were also used by scammers to trick unsuspecting Malaysians to transfer money into accounts to settle ‘cases’.