SIBU: Police believe they have crippled a datukship scam syndicate with the arrests of eight suspects last week.
Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the eight – aged between 30 and 40 – were nabbed in Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan, Selangor and Perak last week.
He said the case was being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
“We hope to get the mastermind charged. We hope also members of the public will be wary when approached by anyone with proposals involving money transaction. Always check and double-check the authenticity of the person or the agency they represent,” said Acryl, who is also a former Sarawak police commissioner.
He said police also seized a multipurpose vehicle, RM1,139, jewellery and three handphones.
The eight suspects will be remanded until tomorrow (Monday).
Acryl confirmed the arrests were made following a report lodged by a 63-year-old lawyer here who was duped out of RM604,000 for his datukship.
“The lawyer claimed he was approached by a 36-year-old woman, who introduced herself as the assistant to the Raja Permaisuri Agong at Istana Negara, on Nov 11,” he said, adding that the lawyer and the woman met on several occasions.
“The lawyer was asked to donate RM604,000 to a foundation said to be associated with the Queen as a condition to obtain the datukship.”
He said the lawyer agreed and deposited the money into the suspect’s personal bank account in two transactions.
However, after he received his datukship in June, he discovered from the royal household that no donation was required. He then filed a police report on Sept 7.
“Always check telephone numbers with the agency’s credible website. Any claim purporting investment with big returns or promises of obtaining land, title, etc, with ease are always laced with deceit,” reminded Acryl.
“Never fall easily to sweet talk. And most importantly, government agencies will never ask or receive payment, be it of service, fees, penalties, etc, by means of crediting money into personal accounts and after office hours.”