Police bust Musang King, cheap air tickets scams in Sabah

Sabah Police Commissioner Omar Mammah.

KOTA KINABALU: Police have detained seven people in two suspected fraud cases involving RM3,359,750 that offered investment in a Musang King durian plantation and cheap air tickets in Sabah.

Sabah Police Commissioner Omar Mammah told the media today one syndicate offered opportunities to make quick returns from a durian plantation in Sipitang under a company called Grow Asia Capital.

“The syndicate was active in all districts in Sabah. The police have received 155 reports since Nov 28 and we are expecting the number to increase,” he said, adding the victims lost RM3,197,465 in this bogus deal.

According to him, the syndicate started the scheme in August this year but none of the investors ever met the organiser.

He said some participants who joined the scheme at the early stage managed to profit from their investment.

The police received the first report on Nov 28 by an individual who alleged he had invested RM8,400 by depositing the money into a local bank account.

Police investigation led to the arrest of four men in Kota Kinabalu and one in Gombak, Selangor.

“The man arrested in Selangor was on the police’s wanted list and had a previous conviction related to drugs. Police are still looking for other syndicate members and more arrests will be made soon,” he said.

Referring to the second case, Omar said police received 71 reports against a company called Syarikat 81 Revolution Future Sdn Bhd which had advertised cheap long-haul flight tickets.

So far, he said, the known victims reported they had paid RM162,285 to the syndicate which began promoting the tickets in August.

“The syndicate appointed freelance agents, offering them commissions of between RM50 and RM150 for each customer they brought in,” he said.

The first report against the company was lodged on Nov 23 after the victim claimed he had paid RM6,000 but did not receive the promised tickets.

Omar said police had arrested two women, aged 33 and 37, between Nov 25 and 26 for investigation.

One of the women had been jailed between 2013 and 2015 for her involvement in a gold investment scam.

“In both cases, the syndicates used social media and messaging apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram extensively to promote their offers,” he said.

Omar said both cases will be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code which carries penalties of between one and 10 years imprisonment, a fine and whipping on conviction.

He advised the public to be wary of offers that were too good to be true, such as quick return on investment or products sold far below market prices.