Over 90 Chinese nationals arrested in Malaysia for scamming people back in China

Six Malaysians also implicated in syndicate whose phone scams cheated mainlanders out of millions, local police say

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 September, 2018, 4:54pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 September, 2018, 10:47pm

Police in Malaysia have arrested 93 Chinese citizens on suspicion of operating a telephone scam from the southeast Asian country that cheated people across mainland China out of millions of yuan.

Six Malaysians, one of them aged just 14, were also arrested during a police raid on a call centre in a high-end business district of Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, on Friday.

Officers also confiscated 169 mobile phones and 114 laptops from the office, which are believed to have been used in the scam.

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Commercial crime investigation chief Amar Singh said his team was collaborating with Chinese authorities to determine the size of the losses and how to handle a crime whose victims were all outside Malaysia.

The raid was the latest in a series of similar busts as police in Malaysia seek to tackle a growing trend for call centre style scams, often involving foreign targets.

Two smaller operations were broken up in the southern state of Johor in recent weeks, Singh said.

Officials from Malaysia recently met their counterparts from Singapore and Hong Kong to discuss how to fight cross-border cybercrime, he said.

In one case, authorities in Hong Kong said people from the city had been cheated out of 95 million ringgit (US$22.9 million) by Nigerian phone scammers based in Malaysia, he said.

How Malaysia will handle the 93 Chinese suspects arrested on Friday is unknown. In the past, it has deported those accused of such crimes for prosecution in their home countries.

Last year, authorities from the two countries worked together on another telephone scam investigation case involving 71 suspects based in Malaysia and 75 in China.

Additional reporting by Associated Press