Police bust Johor 'Datukship' syndicate

JOHOR BARU - Police uncovered a syndicate selling fake Datukships involving millions of ringgit with the arrest of two men here on Oct 30.

Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said the victims would pay between RM180,000 (S$58,000) and RM280,000 to get their titles and an additional RM10,000 to become a member of their "exclusive" club.

"These two suspects are aged 40 and 57 and are quite active in an unregistered non-governmental organisation based in Batu Pahat where they offer titles such as Datuk and Datuk Seri for monetary profits," said Khalil.

Police also seized various items including medals and appointment letters use by the suspects to dupe their victims into believing their actions were legal.

"I like to remind the public that it is not easy to be bestowed with a Datukship, as it is not something that money can buy," Khalil told a press conference at the state police headquarters here on Wednesday (Nov 15).

He said 13 reports have been lodged against the syndicate involving losses of more than RM1.34 million and 40 individuals, including members of the organisation, have been identified.

"I like such individuals to come forward as we know who they are and where they are living," he said.