Malaysian lucky-draw scammers mistakenly target police officer

Malaysian lucky-draw scammers mistakenly target police officer
BEWARE: A notice in a public space in Johor Baru, warning people about “scratch and win” lucky draw scams.

Luck couldn't have been any more rotten for a group of "scratch and win" scammers outside a hypermarket in Kajang, Selangor.

They tried to sell their scam vouchers to a man who turned out to be the district's deputy police chief.

Supt Abdul Ghani Mohamad Ji was off-duty and in plainclothes when he went to the mall at about 11.15am on Wednesday to buy chicken rice.

He was approached by a man asking if he would like to buy a "scratch and win" card.

The policeman said he had encountered these scammers before, but what irked him this time was how brazen they had become.

Supt Abdul Ghani told The Star: "There were 10 of them at the front entrance, ambushing customers to buy into their scam. They pestered me. I kept telling them I was not interested."

While he was buying his lunch, Supt Abdul Ghani called the Commercial Crime Investigation Department at the police headquarters, asking officers to dispatch men for an "ambush of their own".

He waited for his men to drive into the mall compound before walking out to the entrance where the scammers were.

"They approached me again. This time, I had some fun. I acted like I was interested, took their vouchers and looked at them. Then I told them that I was a police officer.

"They didn't say anything after that. The group just ran helter-skelter," he said.

CHASE

A total of 13 officers chased the fleeing scammers, who ran onto the road and into the shopping mall.

Supt Abdul Ghani himself managed to arrest three men.

He said: "We arrested eight men at the mall and another two later in Semenyih (Selangor). We have received many reports of these people selling 'scratch and win' cards here. They may all be working for the same syndicate."

The scammers are being investigated for cheating.

About RM5.2 million (S$1.96 million) has been lost to "scratch and win" scammers last year, with 230 cases reported from January to October last year.

According to statistics from the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department, Klang Valley residents made up 60 per cent of the cases reported last year.


This article was first published on Feb 06, 2015.
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