The Straits Times
Published on Oct 30, 2012

Malaysia arrests 12 over theft of smartphones worth $1.3m


KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysian police arrested 12 people for the theft of 1,400 Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphones one day after the device's much-anticipated launch in the country, a police official said on Tuesday.

The smartphones, worth 3.23 million ringgit (S$1.3 million), were stolen on October 20 from the cargo area of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where they had arrived in a shipment.

Federal commercial crimes investigation chief Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said the 12, most of whom were believed to have planned the theft together, were arrested during raids around the capital Kuala Lumpur. He said only about 70 of the phones had been recovered and police were trying to track down the rest.

The New Straits Times reported that three of those facing charges were alleged buyers of stolen phones who paid less than the official retail price. Samsung launched the new model in Malaysia on October 19.