Police bust parcel scam syndicate, arrests five

By Praven Suppayah

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Police believe they have solved 43 parcel scam cases with almost RM1 million in losses reported, with the arrest of a Malaysian woman and four Nigerian men.

They were picked up by Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Division officers in three raids in Jalan Klang Lama, Cyberjaya and Damansara on Tuesday.

Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the five, aged between 28 and 40, had allegedly duped several people via social media by developing personal relationships before dumping them after getting their money. 

He said the raids were launched on Tuesday after receiving a tip-off about the syndicate. 

“Following the arrests, police have solved 43 cases, with losses amounting to RM950,000,” he said.

Police also seized six laptops, six ATM cards, 13 handphones, four vehicles, and four bank books during the bust. 

“We hope people will not trust anyone they meet on the Internet. The public can contact the police for advice if they  have doubts when making any transactions,” he said.

He also said in a statement yesterday that the department had been investigating 581 cases since early this year.

The cases, including love scams, were mostly done via social media and people were duped into making payments without even having met the person.

A “parcel scam” is often linked to a “love scam”. The scammer use popular social, dating and business networking sites. 

The suspects usually created fake profiles to personally target as many victims at the same time to try their luck. 

Upon getting duped into a “relationship”, the suspects express strong emotions in a relatively short time and will suggest to move the relationship away from the website, to the phone. 

Once a scammer has gained a victim’s trust, he will courier a parcel and then an accomplice, pretending to be a customs officer, would contact the victim and ask the victim to pay a sum of money before the parcel can be delivered.