Friday, May 24

Padawan police cripple foreign con syndicate

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Merbin (left) shows the media the seized items at the press conference yesterday.

KUCHING: A foreign con syndicate has been crippled by Padawan District Police Commercial Crime and Investigations Department (CCID) after they raided a house at Lorong Stampin Tengah here on Dec 13 and arrested  two men and three women.

The team headed by Inspector Fakhri Ismail acted on a police report lodged by their latest victim, tracking down and arresting the suspects within four hours.

“Police also seized various amounts of currencies and jewellery from the suspects,” Padawan District Police deputy chief DSP Merbin Lisa told a press conference at their headquarters Friday.

The currencies seized comprises RM6,618, (Indonesian Rupiah) R 1,760,000; (Hong Kong) HK$ 610; (Chinese Yuan) CNY 1,150 and (Brunei) B$ 2.

Also seized from the suspects were a multi-purpose vehicle, two Indonesian passports, three Republic of China passports, five gold rings, three pairs of gold earrings, four gold lockets, three gold necklaces, two gold bracelets and eight handphones.

The victim, a local elderly woman from Siburan, had met the con artistes in Siburan town when she was about to finish grocery shopping around 9.10am on Dec 11.

She was first approached by one of the female member of the syndicate who broke the ice by saying she was looking for a man in the area. They were joined by two other women who also said they wanted to meet the man.

During the brief encounter, the three women warned that the victim’s family would face a string of bad luck, starting with her son’s accident at 12 midnight on Dec 12.

Merbin said after creating panic in their victim, they offered to help her break the bad luck by performing a cleansing ritual which called for payment and offerings.

“Moments later, a multi-purpose vehicle driven by a man arrived at Siburan town to bring the con artists and the victim back to her home where she was told to pay them RM1,000 as down payment for the healing ritual,” he added.

After handing the money to the women at her home, the victim was instructed to withdraw money from her fixed deposit account which had RM4,091.94.

The victim’s money and jewellery were packed in a plastic bag for the purported cleansing ritual. The victim was told not to open the plastic bag for three days.

But unknown to the victim, the women had switched the original plastic bag with a similar one containing two bottles of mineral water and newspaper cuttings.

“The victim said she lost around RM13,091.94 to the con artistes,” Merbin said.

The case will be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property. If found guilty they could be jailed from one to 10 years, with whipping and a fine.