Police smash loan scam syndicate with arrest of five people

PHOTO: Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR - Police have arrested five people in connection to a loan scam syndicate believed to have conned more than 30 people nationwide.

Kuala Lumpur Police commercial crimes investigations division chief Asst Comm Mohd Luthfi Ismail Abdullah said four men and a woman in their 20s lured victims into borrowing money from them, but never dispensed any of the promised funds.

"The group is believed to have been active since early this year and we arrested them in a condominium in Bukit Jalil," he said.

Police also seized RM7,655 (S$2,434) in cash, 17 notebooks, Internet equipment and a luxury car.

ACP Mohd Luthfi said the syndicate would advertise their services via social media where they would get potential victims to contact them through the WhatsApp messaging app.

"The victims would be asked to settle a fee which the syndicate claimed would cover stamp duty fees, lawyer fees and taxes. However, the victims would never see any of the money after paying the fees," he said.

With the arrest of the five people, ACP Mohd Luthfi said police have solved 35 of such cases.

"There have been 35 reports lodged nationwide where victims suffered estimated losses of RM266,650," he said.

ACP Mohd Luthfi advised the public to be wary of individuals who claim to offer financial aid, especially when the offer is too good to be true.

"One of the tell-tale signs of a fake loan offer is when the individuals would ask for upfront payments," he said adding that licensed moneylenders would settle such matters face-to-face before dispensing funds.

The suspects were remanded for four days since Tuesday and police are applying for their remand order to be extended to further help with investigations.

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