Malaysian cops bust internet scammers, arrest woman and her 5 lovers

KUALA LUMPUR - For years she has been carrying on her affairs with various Nigerian men in Malaysia and bearing their children.

However, the dangerous liaisons were cut short after the 42-year-old Malaysian woman - along with five others - were arrested for acting as a "go between" for the men in a multi-million ringgit Internet parcel scam.

The woman, who also acted as a bank account holder for the syndicate, has admitted to receiving between RM1.5mil (S$571,000) and RM2mil in transactions.

She was among 15 people, including five Nigerian men, detained over the scam which first came to the police's attention from a report lodged by a Singaporean woman.

Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigations Department deputy director (intelligence and operations) Senior Asst Comm Datuk Jalil Hassan said they were arrested in the Klang Valley during an operation on Thursday, in which 14 bank passbooks, 21 ATM cards and 10 handphones were among the items seized.

"Our initial investigation shows that all the Nigerians have been using Malaysian student visas," he told reporters at the Federal CCID headquarters in Bukit Perdana here yesterday.

Nine others, including the six women, had been acting for the syndicate as bank account holders, he said, adding that all those detained, aged between 39 and 26, were remanded.

Police, added SAC Jalil, had obtained a lead on the syndicate when a 60-year-old Singaporean woman living in Johor Baru was duped of RM566,590 after being told that she would be receiving a parcel containing £750,000 (S$1.6m).

"She had met one of the syndicate members on Facebook in July. The member was impersonating as an Irish man 'interested' in the victim," he said, adding that the woman was told that a parcel would be sent to her home in Johor Baru via courier.

"Although she received an e-mail that the parcel had purportedly arrived at the Customs, she was required to pay transaction and insurance fees to claim it.

"Believing his sweet talk and promises, the woman deposited money into several local bank accounts," he said, adding that the parcel never arrived.

On Jan 21, the woman lodged a report.

Police, he said, believed that the syndicate had been operating for between two and three years, conning victims of over RM7mil.