The Immigration Department has busted what is believed to be the largest online scam syndicate run by Chinese nationals in Malaysia
The Immigration Department made the announcement on their Facebook page yesterday, 20 November.
"The Malaysian Immigration Department raided the premises suspected of being the headquarters of an online scam syndicate run by Chinese nationals in Cyberjaya," the department wrote on its page.
While the announcement on Facebook said that nearly 1,000 people were arrested, it was revealed today that the total number is 680
Immigration Department director-general (D-G) Khairul Dzaimee Daud said the department had rounded up 680 people, including 77 women aged between 19 and 35 years old, reported New Straits Times.
Those arrested are believed to be Chinese nationals as a majority of them did not have their passports when the raid was conducted at a multilevel building in Cyberjaya at 11am on Wednesday.
The syndicate was operating from a six-storey building in Cyberjaya
According to a report in The Star, the syndicate's office building was well-secured.
It had guards stationed on each floor and rooms were only accessible with access cards.
The English daily said that the syndicate, which had been active in Malaysia for about six months, had been using the building in Cyberjaya as a call centre.
The report quoted the D-G saying that all those who were arrested "were found to have entered the country via social visit passes" and that almost none of them could produce their passports.
"No representative has come forward with their documents and the Chinese embassy has been notified of developments," D-G Khairul told The Star today, 21 November.
Meanwhile, the D-G revealed that all of the detainees have been remanded for 14 days.
The building was said to be rented at RM360,000 per month
According to New Straits Times, which reported the building's rent amount, Immigration officers seized 8,230 mobile phones, 174 laptops, and 787 personal computers.
The seizure was done under provisions stipulated in the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2001 (AMLA).
During the raid, the Immigration officers were provoked and even attacked by operators who tried to flee
"It was estimated about 100 people have escaped by breaking through the human barricades formed by the Immigration officers. Some (officers) suffered minor injuries," D-G Khairul was quoted as saying.
Videos posted online showed people scrambling to escape, with some risking their lives by jumping out of the second floor of the building