Interpol’s help sought to hunt down Nicky Liow

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Police have reached out to Interpol to arrest Nicky Liow Soon Hee, the businessman on the run over various money laundering and commercial crime cases.

In a press conference in Batu Pahat today, Johor police chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay did not deny the possibility that the young “Datuk Seri” might try to flee the country.

Police revealed that Liow is no small-time criminal but a big player with links to an international organised crime syndicate.

“He has a very wide network and connections with enforcement officers. He’s linked to an influential individual, so he might take advantage of his network to go into hiding or flee the country.”

Nur Aisyah Mazalan/NST

However, he believed the 33-year-old was still hiding out in the Klang Valley and expressed confidence that Liow would be arrested soon.

Ayob was quoted as saying police received information that Liow had packed eight bags with cash and fled.

This week, police arrested 68 individuals believed to be members of Liow’s gang while also seizing 16 luxury vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce and five Alphards, and foreign currency totalling over RM7 million in 70 raids conducted between March 20 and March 28.

Police revealed that Liow had informants within the force, while a former deputy public prosecutor with a Datukship was also believed to be among those who leaked information on the police’s Pelican 3.0 operation, aimed at arresting Liow.

The founder of the Winner Dynasty Group, Liow is believed to be linked to syndicates involved in various scams.

He is said to have been mentored by a Chinese national named Zhang Jiang or Yun Sho Mao and operated a call centre in Puchong, where Chinese nationals helped conduct scams.

Liow allegedly got his first break to head a major Macau scam syndicate when Zhang was nabbed four years ago.

While Zhang is still believed to be languishing in prison, Liow had been regularly sending money to support the family of his “sifu”.

Since Zhang had connections to various triads abroad, Liow managed to gain access to them once Zhang was in prison.

Sources said all Liow’s activities were mainly in the Klang Valley, where he is known to be a man about town.

With 12 cases on his criminal record, he first gained notoriety in 2017 when he was arrested for assaulting two Rela personnel. He was eventually acquitted and discharged two years later after the victims agreed to a settlement.

According to police, the investigation that eventually led to the unravelling of Liow, an alleged Macau scam ringleader, started with a probe into a handphone deal.

Johor police investigations into the syndicate started earlier this year following a report lodged in Pontian about the bogus sale of a handphone that was worth RM1,500.

A source said the RM1,500 cash paid in the deal went into a “mule account” controlled by the syndicate, triggering a full-blown investigation that eventually led police to Liow’s main centre in Puchong, Selangor.

It is believed that Liow was also known to pay “top money” for information about whether his operations came up on any enforcement agency’s investigations radar, including the police, Bank Negara or the Inland Revenue Board for money laundering or tax evasion.

A former deputy public prosecutor is known to be the “fixer” who acquired the information from various agencies, as Liow wanted to operate without sounding off any alarm bells among these agencies.

In Kuala Lumpur, police have put Liow on the wanted list with the Immigration Department, which would be on high alert if he attempts to flee the country.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador said once a name was on the wanted list, all border checkpoints, jetties, ports and airports would be automatically notified.

Abdul Hamid said that Liow was believed to have at least 34 law enforcement agency personnel on his payroll.