KUALA LUMPUR: The police have busted an investment scam syndicate that set up shop in a bungalow previously used as a consular office and residence.
The syndicate even paid to have armed guards patrolling the compound in order to keep up appearances that the consulate was still operational.
Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) got wind of the syndicate’s operations and conducted a sting operation last week.
Its director Comm Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said police raided the bungalow on Nov 22.
“We arrested 28 individuals there including seven China nationals, four from Brunei and four South Koreans.
“We also seized a notebook, one tablet, one laptop as well as 41 mobile phones, 13 passports, and a car,” he told reporters on Wednesday (Nov 29).
He said investigations revealed the bungalow once housed a foreign consulate office and residence.
“The syndicate also hired armed guards and maintained the consulate signage in order to dupe authorities.
“Based on our investigations, the syndicate offered bogus investments and promised high returns in a short time frame,” he said, adding that it promised returns in the form of Tether (USDT) cryptocurrency.
He said investors were offered seven packages ranging between US$155 (RM720) and US$31,000 (RM144,168).
“The syndicate promised daily returns of between 1% and 2% which would be paid via the https://mgc.game/ web portal managed by the syndicate.
“We have opened investigations under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating,” he said, adding that the 13 Malaysians arrested have been released on bail while the foreigners were remanded under the Immigration Act 1959/63 for further action.
Comm Ramli said checks revealed the syndicate targeted victims from Malaysia, China, Brunei and South Korea.
“We wish to advise the public who are interested in making investments using cryptocurrency to refer to the Securities Commission (SC).
“As of today, only five companies have been permitted by the SC to conduct dealings in cryptocurrency comprising Luno Malaysia Sdn Bhd, HATA Digital Sdn Bhd, MX Global Sdn Bhd, SINERGY DAX Sdn Bhd and Tokenize Technology (M) Sdn Bhd,” he said.