August 19, 2016
LABUAN – A 69-year-old elderly woman lodged a police report after she found out that she was deceived by a phone caller who claimed to be a police officer.
Labuan Police Chief, Superintendent Adzhar Othman today told to the media that the victim was called by a man who named himself as ‘Lee’ on August 17 at 11.30am at her home.
“The suspect spoke to the victim to inform the latter that her son was detained the by police at Labuan for possessing drug and was asked to pay cash totaling RM100,000 to the police to free her son.
“But, the victim told the suspect that she only had RM49,000 in her bank account where she was ordered to make fund transfer at a bank in Financial Park.
“Before the transaction was made, the suspect asked the woman’s mobile phone number. She was then ordered by the suspect to go out to the bank with a condition that she cannot disconnect the phone call until the transaction was done,” he said, adding that on 12.30pm, the victim then went to Bank Rakyat at Financial Park to withdraw cash totaling RM49,000.
Adzhar said further that after the withdrawal was made, the victim then went to Maybank to do the fund transfer in three separate bank accounts under three different names, namely RM15,000 transferred to in each two bank account and RM19,000 in an account.
“After making the fund transfer, the victim was ordered to tear the transaction receipts and threw them at the rubbish bin. The victim later went home and was informed by the caller that her son would be freed.
“Then, on 8.50pm, the elderly woman called her son to ensure that he was already freed, but the former was surprised after her son informed her that he was never detained by any police officer.
“The victim then told to her son what had happened earlier where she later found out that she was deceived and prompted her to make police report,” he said.
Based on investigation by Labuan Police Commercial Crime Investigation Unit, the mobile phone number used by the suspect recorded that the suspect had crime records at Miri and Sibu.
The suspect managed to deceive their victims totaling RM20,000 in each district by using similar modus operandi.
Adzhar disclosed that based on the check made on the bank account names, they had crime records around this country and had more than one bank account.
“The police had asked for cooperation from the bank to get the copies of the transaction receipt done by the victim to freeze the suspects’ bank account.
“Our further action is to get the information of the withdrawal transaction made by the suspects and the CCTV record to identify them. They will strengthen our proofs to charge those suspects at court later,” he said, adding that the case was being investigated under Section 420 Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Adzhar told that the police was never asked for ransom from the members of public to release a detainee.
“The members of public must be careful with such tactic of deception. Do not easily trust a stranger who is suspicious and asking for personal details then asked for fund transfer to settle a problem.
“The preys of such syndicate is not necessarily the senior citizens, as they might target those are not aware of such tactic and also those with medium and high standard of living.
“The syndicate might not only be pretending as police officers in their crime activities, but might pretend to be officers from any department or organization,” he said.
He did not deny that suspects had made their study on their victims through Internet.
Therefore, the people are urged to go to the nearby police station to verify such call in the future.