Taiwanese allegedly behind international scam arrested in Malaysia

The scam often starts with a phone call from someone pretending to be an officer. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The alleged mastermind of an international 'Macau scam', who is wanted in Taiwan, has been arrested in Ampang district in Selangor.

The 39-year-old Taiwanese man, identified as Wei Kuo-Chun, was detained by Malaysian police and Interpol at Ampang Putra Residency at about 10.20pm on Monday (Jan 25).

Also known as Jason Wei, sources said the man was wanted by Taiwanese police since 2014.

The sources said Wei was detained with another Taiwanese man identified as Ku Chin Ling, 49. Taiwanese police identified Ku as the leader of an online scam there.

"Police believe the two had joined forces and made Kuala Lumpur the base for their international scam, " sources told The Star.

According to the sources, Taiwanese police received information that Wei had been "residing" in Kuala Lumpur and ran a Macau scam targeting Chinese citizens.

"They requested the assistance of the Malaysian police.

"Bukit Aman (Malaysia's federal police) conducted an operation with Interpol to detain them, " the sources said, adding that two other Taiwanese men who were at the premise were also picked up.

It was learnt that Wei's wife is a participant of the Malaysia MySecond Home programme (MM2H), while he is a holder of an MM2H dependent visa.

"The wife is in Taiwan," said also the sources, adding that Wei has the Republic of Guinea-Bissau citizenship due to his investment there.

It was further learnt that Wei had helmed a similar syndicate in the Philippines in 2014 and in Montenegro in 2019.

The sources said investigations would be handled by the Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID).

"After the investigation by the CCID is done, the four will be handed over to Taiwanese police."

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador confirmed the arrest.

"We worked with Interpol and Taiwanese police in this successful operation, " he said.

The term 'Macau scam' was coined as it is believed it originated from Macau or that the first victims came from there.

The scam often starts with a phone call from someone pretending to be an officer from a bank, government or law enforcement agency or debt collector.

The scammer will tell the potential victim that they owe money or has an unpaid fine, often with a very short window to settle the payment or face "dire consequences".

The victims will then be asked to make payments to get them off the hook.

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