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KUALA LUMPUR: Another person has been detained for alleged dissemination of fake news on the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), bringing the total number of suspects arrested in such cases to six.

Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a statement tonight that a 28-year-old woman, who works as a bank clerk, was detained in Kuantan, Pahang at 4pm today to assist investigations on fake news which was uploaded on Facebook on Monday (Jan 27).

“Raid operations conducted by MCMC and police continued for a third day, with another individual suspected of spreading fake news concerning the 2019-nCoV being detained to assist investigations.”

It said that a handphone and sim card allegedly used by the suspect to upload the post in question on Facebook were seized.

She was being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for improper usage of network facilities or services.

The offence carries a fine of up to RM50,000 or imprisonment up to a year or both upon conviction, and the offender can also be fined another RM1,000 for each subsequent offence committed after conviction.

“Since Jan 28 (Tuesday), 2020, the MCMC and police have detained a total of six suspects believed to have spread fake content related to the novel Coronavirus.

“This operation is continuous to ensure that the spread of fake news can be controlled to maintain peace and to uphold the wellbeing of the Malaysian people,” said the statement.

Earlier, a 34-year-old suspect was arrested at his home in Bangi at 4pm to facilitate investigation over a Facebook status posted on Jan 26 related to the Coronavirus.

On Jan 27, the New Straits Times reported that four individuals landed themselves on the police and the MCMC’s radar for disseminating false information on the Coronavirus outbreak.

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