The Star 10 January 2009
TAWAU: Police have crippled a syndicate that duped victims into believing they won prizes via the short messaging service (SMs) with the arrest of 15 people including two women.
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the suspects aged 23-35 were arrested on Friday in a raid on a house in Taman Masaic, Tanjung Batu, at 2am which led to the seizure of RM3,000 and one million Indonesian rupiah.
“Police also found 53 mobile phones and accessories, 17 account books, one identity card, eight Indonesian international passports, seven border passes and cards stating that they (victims) had won prizes,” he told reporters on Saturday.
Noor Rashid said the syndicate members contacted victims via SMS saying they had won attractive prizes organised by Petronas, Shell and Akademi Fantasia and had to wire transfer money into an account before receiving the prizes.
“The syndicate may be working with foreign-based syndicates since most of those arrested were foreigners. Based on the money credited into the accounts, their victims were from all over the country.”
He said that since 2006, Sabah police had received 115 reports on cheating via SMS with losses of RM1.9mil. – Bernama