The Johor police have busted a Macau scam syndicate that laundered its illicit gains, said to be worth RM336 million, through a network of bank accounts after nabbing 12 individuals in series of arrests last month.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the 12, nine men and three women, all locals aged 29 to 68, were arrested in Penang and Kuala Lumpur from Dec 3 to Dec 21. They were all directors of companies linked to the syndicate.
The syndicate was said to have used a network of mule bank accounts to transfer money deposited by unwary victims in an effort to elude detection by the authorities.
The police have managed to trace 91 accounts used in the scam, 18 of them belonging to individuals and 73 company accounts, belonging to two companies, managed by the syndicate’s mastermind and his two sons.
The proceeds were then used to invest in cryptocurrency and to purchase properties.
Ayob Khan said the syndicate’s activities were exposed after the police received reports from victims in Pontian and Nusa Bestari involving losses of RM2.31 million.
“Further investigations revealed that a property developer had received payments of RM25 million from 91 bank accounts linked to the syndicate.
“The payment (RM25 million) is part of the purchase price of 100 luxury condominiums and commercial units in George Town, Penang,” he told reporters at a media conference today.
He added that all 12 individuals arrested last month were released on bail. The mastermind, however, is believed to have fled the country and is currently in Thailand.
Ayob Khan said police are looking for the father and sons and the case is being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.