Bogus legal aid officers on the prowl

The STAR online

Friday March 14, 2008

PUTRAJAYA: If you receive a phone call from a person, claiming to be in authority or from the Legal Aid Bureau, telling you that you are in trouble with the law, be very wary. 

A 20-year-old polytechnic student wasn’t and lost RM18,000. 

According to a police reported lodged by the student on Wednesday, an individual claiming to be a magistrate said he (the student) was involved in a document forgery case last year and a warrant of arrest had been issued against him. 

The “magistrate” then passed the phone to a “police officer” allegedly from Bukit Aman, who confirmed the information and added that if nothing was done, the student’s two bank accounts would be frozen. 

The student was then referred to a “Legal Aid Bureau officer” by the name of Suhaidi Ahmad, who told him to bank in RM18,000 into the account of Mohd Zaid Tabrani 

The “officer” also told the student to meet him at the bureau’s office here at 9am on Wednesday. 

The student only realised he had been ripped off when told by officers at the Legal Aid Bureau there that it had no officer by the name of Suhaidi Ahmad.  

The student was advised to lodge a police report. 

The student said the money he had deposited into Mohd Zaid Tabrani’s account was a loan he obtained from the National Higher Education Fund Corporation.  

At a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister’s Department Legal Aid Bureau director-general Dr Hassan Ab Rahman said the student was the first person to fall for the scam. 

He said over the past week, the bureau had received nine telephone complaints from the public about a person claiming to be an officer from the bureau who accused those he called of involvement in illegal transactions, including document forgery and certain criminal offences. 

Dr Hassan urged anyone receiving such calls to immediately contact the Legal Aid Bureau here at 03-88851398/1804/1809 or lodge a report at the nearest police station. 

He added that the Legal Aid Bureau only charged a RM2 processing fee for those who qualify for its legal advice and representation.


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