Kuala Lumpur: In a significant operation, the Malaysian police have successfully dismantled a cryptocurrency investment syndicate responsible for over RM50 million in losses. This operation led to the arrest of 40 individuals over three days starting from October 29. Those arrested included 31 men and nine women, aged between 20 and 55 years old.
Syndicate Targets Investors with Cryptocurrency Scams
According to Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf, Director of the Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department, among the arrested individuals were 38 business owners, company directors, and company secretaries, with the remaining suspects including bank officers and agents searching for mule account holders. The police took action following 76 reports filed by victims who had fallen prey to investment schemes, with combined losses amounting to RM50,620,880.29. The victims ranged from 22 to 81 years old and mainly comprised retirees and businessmen.
The cryptocurrency scam syndicate operated by luring victims with cryptocurrency investments promising high returns in a short period. They allowed investors to monitor the cryptocurrency transaction activities in accounts registered under their names but made it impossible for investors to withdraw their money.
New Trend: Use of Registered Companies as Mule Accounts
A notable trend detected during the operation was the syndicate’s use of registered companies and businesses as mule accounts. Authorities identified 73 bank accounts linked to the syndicate, involving 51 companies. These companies and businesses were likely registered solely to facilitate the scam. The syndicate employed a strategy of approaching individuals facing financial difficulties or homelessness to use their names in the setup of these companies and to open company accounts. These individuals received one-time or monthly payments for their involvement.
Legal Action Underway
The case is currently under investigation and is being treated as a cheating offense under Section 420 of the Penal Code. This successful operation by Malaysian police highlights their commitment to tackling fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes and protecting potential victims from substantial financial losses.
The Malaysian police have taken decisive action to apprehend individuals responsible for orchestrating a cryptocurrency investment scam that led to significant financial losses for victims. These arrests emphasize the authorities’ determination to combat fraudulent activities within the cryptocurrency space and bring perpetrators to justice.