PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department vowed to hunt down those who have escaped during the department’s raid on the largest investment scam syndicate headquarters in Cyberjaya yesterday.
Its director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the department had rounded up 680 people, including 77 women, aged between 19 and 35 years old, believed to be Chinese nationals as majority of them did not have their passports when the raid was conducted at a multilevel building in Cyberjaya at 11am.
Khairul Dzaimee said that during the raid the operators provoked and some even attacked the Immigration officers.
“It was estimated about 100 people have escaped by breaking through the human barricades formed by the Immigration officers. Some suffered minor injuries.
“We deployed 150 officers to the six-storey premises which had tight security features, and caught them in the act of running their operation.
"They were believed to have run online investment scam activities which are based in China. We believe the activities started about six months ago, targeting those in China by promising them quick high returns (of their investments)," he told reporters here today.
The department, he said, had been gathering information about the syndicate for more than a month.
Khairul Dzaimee said they had yet to get the number of victims involved and the amount of investments.
"They are running online investment scams, including in foreign exchange (forex) trading."
On the modus operandi, he said the operators would send a code to their clients from certain websites in Mandarin.
"All transactions and payments were made via Wechat pay or the banks in China.”
In the raid at the premises, which was rented at RM360,000 per month, he said Immigration officers also seized 8,230 mobile phones, 174 laptops and 787 personal computers, in accordance with provisions stipulated under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLA).
The director-general also said initial investigation found that all of them stayed here using social visit passes.
"Some of the offences committed fell under Section 39(B) of the Immigration Regulations 1963 for violating the requirement of their visit pass; Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for entering and staying in Malaysia without valid pass, and Section 15(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for overstaying," he said, adding that the department would not hesitate to blacklist them.
"We are in the midst of scanning their biometrics to track their movements in our country and to determine if they are first-time or frequent visitors," said Khairul Dzaimee, adding that all of the detainees have been remanded for 14 days.
He also said the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Malaysia was informed of the detention of the Chinese nationals on the day of the arrest.
Earlier, Bernama reported that the Immigration Department had busted the largest online scam syndicate believed to be run by Chinese nationals in the country.
Read the story here.