Two United Kingdom (UK) citizens who were masterminds of an international fraud syndicate have been sentenced to six months jail and fined RM320,000 by the Sessions Court, in Shah Alam today (March 16)
Judge Rozilah Salleh handed down the sentence to Andrew Mark Peters, 55, a Persons with Disabilities (OKU) who was wheelchair-bound and Darren Anthony Mcnicholas, 51, after they pleaded guilty to four counts.
MACC Investigations reveal Illegal Outflows Of Up To RM200 Million Daily From Five Malaysian Banks
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is investigating officials from five major local banks alleged to be in involved with two United Kingdom citizens who are suspected of masterminding an international fraud network that has seen sums of up to RM200 million a day illegally transferred abroad.
The two foreigners are expected to be charged in court today citing confirmation from Deputy Commissioner Datuk Mohammad Zamri Zainul Abidin, director anti-money laundering division in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
“We will continue investigations even though two individuals including the syndicate mastermind are charged tomorrow,” he was reported telling newsmen.
Reports cited anonymous sources close to the investigation that insiders from the five local banks had helped the two UK nationals create “transit” accounts for the syndicate to transfer large sums of money abroad.
“Each of these officers is believed to receive about RM1,000 for each bank account that was successfully opened without following the procedure. These accounts are transit as the syndicate will transfer the money into a ‘real’ account. More slyly, the transit account will be wiped out within three months. In addition to these five banks, seven ‘dummy’ companies used by the syndicate are also being watched by MACC. All banks and companies are located in Kuala Lumpur and Penang,” the reports cited a source saying.
The source added: “We believe this company is a dummy by being registered under the Companies Commission of Malaysia created for the money transfer process.”
Between five and 20 bank officials including a host conspiring suspect of lawyers, auditors, company secretaries, accountants and company directors are said to be involved in this scam.
It was learnt that the syndicate has been around since 2019 and is also active in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong and the UK. The syndicate’s preys on victims through social media and phone calls. Syndicate members will contact the victim after they click on the link to register in the investment company as well as enter personal details.
“Initial investigation finds the syndicate was able to make a transaction of around RM1 million per day and RM200 million within three months,” the source added.
MACC made 24 raids around Kuala Lumpur and Penang on February 22 and nabbed 10 syndicate members who included nationals from Australia, the UK, South Africa and the Philippines. It was reported that a 41-year-old foreigner was arrested on February 28 in connection with the investment fraud case.
The individual is suspected to have created a fake website to lure victims to ‘invest’ their money in a non-existent investment. This led to more MACC raids on March 3 on several bank premises, money changers and companies suspected of acting as middlemen for the syndicate.