GEORGETOWN – Penang Police believe they have smashed a ‘scratch & win’ syndicate that has cheated unwary people of a total of RM1.5 million.
North East District Police chief ACP Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said today the police had arrested 17 people, four of them women, suspected to be members of the syndicate.
Three men were arrested in March and the 14 other people were picked up in a raid on May 18 on a company registered to sell electrical goods that they had used as a front in Jalan Slim here, he told a news conference.
He said the police also recovered payment invoices, scratch & win contest coupons and files containing photographs of various prizes offered by the company.
The police also seized various electrical goods, including home theatre sets, rice cookers, various mobile telephones, computer accessories, water filters and what was claimed to be a jade mattress, he said.
Mior Faridalathrash said more than 30 scratch & win cases of cheating had been reported in the district so far this year.
The victims were usually retirees, who were lured with so-called attractive gifts such as luxury cars, houses and pilgrimage and holiday packages, he said.
The syndicate members usually operated at shopping malls and outside banks and were prepared to tail their would-be ‘clients’ even to the ATM machines for cash withdrawals to be made, he said.
Mior Faridalathrash said the victims were lured into parting with sums of money ranging from RM2,000 to tens of thousands of ringgit, and they would come to realise they had been cheated when they did not get the promised gifts or were given cheaper goods instead.
“Police believe this is the biggest number of arrests so far this year,” he said, adding that the people should be wary of offers of expensive items at low prices. – BERNAMA