Malaysia police chief warns of 'push-pocket' blackmail scams

Malaysia's police chief has warned the public against 'push-pocket' blackmail scams, which are mainly targeted towards foreigners arriving at KLIA or who happen to be at LRT stations.
Malaysia's police chief has warned the public against 'push-pocket' blackmail scams, which are mainly targeted towards foreigners arriving at KLIA or who happen to be at LRT stations. PHOTO: NSTP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's police chief has advised the public not to fall prey to "push-pocket" criminals who accuse victims of stealing their personal items as part of a blackmail scam.

Their targets are said to be mainly foreigners arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or who happen to be at LRT stations, according to warnings being circulated on social media, Bernama news agency reported on Sunday (July 10).

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar Khalid advised victims not to be afraid and take the perpetrators up on their threat by offering to follow them to the nearest police station, the report said.

"Should anyone come up to you and accuse you of theft, have no fear just take them to the nearest police station," Khalid was quoted as saying.

"Do not try to settle the matter by yourself because they will not dare to go to the police station," he said.

The "push-pocket" perpetrators reportedly slip items such as mobile phones or wallets into the victims' pockets in crowded places around Kuala Lumpur.

They will then accuse the unsuspecting victims of theft - before asking the victim to pay a sum of money or be reported to the police.

Victims usually agree to fork out the money out of fear, reported Bernama.

Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief Rusdi Mohd Isa was quoted as saying police had yet to receive any report of the scam.

"Checks with Dang Wangi and Brickfields stations found no cases have been reported to the police," he said.