Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia arrested 83 people
mostly from China and Taiwan over a huge scam that netted
billions of dollars, a day after authorities busted a major
betting and fraud ring, police said on Saturday.
The suspects -- 75 Taiwanese, six Chinese and two
Malaysians -- were held during raids on four bungalows in
Serdang on the outskirts of capital Kuala Lumpur yesterday,
said federal commercial crime director Syed Ismail Syed
They are under investigation for running a fraud scheme,
cheating people in China and Taiwan out of billions of dollars
by calling them to settle phony credit card or other bank
"We believe there is local involvement in this case,"
Syed Ismail said, adding all the suspects were under detention
and the foreigners, who came to Malaysia in early March, faced
Last year the syndicate is believed to have netted USD 3
billion in China alone with the scam, said Syed Ismail, who
said he had been informed of the amount by Chinese police.
The group originated in Macau but is believed to operate
from other Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia,
Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, Syed Ismail said.
The arrests followed a separate bust on Thursday in
Kajang, near Kuala Lumpur, of a football betting and fraud
ring that police say could have raked in up to USD 1.3
Police held about 150 people, almost all from China and
Taiwan, following the Thursday raid. The arrests are the
latest indication of rampant illegal sports betting in Asia.
Syed Ismail said the Serdang syndicate targeted yesterday
was not involved in football betting but that police had to
move quickly after the Kajang raid.
He said Malaysian police had worked with their Taiwanese
counterparts to monitor the group. When police arrived, the
suspects were already getting ready to vacate three of the
Dozens of other people were arrested in another raid
earlier this year in northern Penang state and two raids last
year in relation to the group that originated in Macau, Syed