SHAH ALAM - A bank executive, cheated of RM400,000 (S$154,000) by a "charming Swedish man" via Facebook, led Selangor police into busting the biggest black money syndicate in the state.
Following a report from the 51-year-old victim, police raided a condominium in Jalan Ipoh here on Wednesday where they found a black money "cleaning centre", filled with chemicals, processing machines, safes and fake Pound Sterling, American and Singapore Dollars with a face value of RM30million.
"We arrested a 54-year-old Iranian man, believed to be the mastermind of the syndicate," said Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Shukri Dahlan. The racket's undoing began in March when the woman executive struck up a friendship with the "Swede" on Facebook.
The pair met at a hotel in Mutiara Damansara where the suspect introduced her to black money, which scammers claim is money that has been dyed black to avoid detection by Customs. He asked the woman to join him in his business by supplying money for him to buy the chemicals he needed to wash the money.
Comm Shukri said the man "hooked" her by washing the notes in front of her. "These revealed three US$100 (S$126) bills," he said.
The woman took the notes to a money changer who confirmed that the money was authentic.
"After that she was so convinced that it was real," Comm Shukri said. "The man promised her that he could double her money and asked her to invest in his business.
"He promised to give her a portion of the foreign currency," Comm Shukri said at a press conference yesterday.
"She borrowed RM100,000 from loan sharks, and others from her friends and family, and banked in RM400,000 over a period of time. When she did not hear from the man, she realised she had been cheated and lodged a report."
When police raided the washing centre at 3pm Wednesday, Comm Shukri said there were 22 bags filled with fake currency.
Officers, led by Insp Megat Faizal Megat Fuad, confiscated the bags, two black money processing machines, 13 safe boxes, chemicals and the fake money.