Friday, March 24, 2023

Police bust Akademi Fantasia SMS scam syndicate

Police have busted a syndicate involved in an Akademi Fantasia SMS scam in Sabah.

The three key members of the syndicate were arrested in a series of operations by state police here that led to the detention of at least 11 other suspects in connection with the scam that used random SMS to dupe people into parting with their money.

Sabah acting Deputy Police Commissioner Sr Asst CommII Sidin Abdul Karim said the arrested included two “most wanted” men (both Indonesians) who were picked up from the Marina Court here by the end March.

Police also recovered 58 bank cards and RM36,661 cash from the suspects who had used locals to open up bank accounts, Sidin told reporters after attending the monthly police gathering at the Kepayan police headquarters here.

The suspects used the accounts so that their victims deposit money as part of a deal to collect a cheque that they purportedly won from an Akademi Fantasia show.

“Our investigations showed that the locals were paid about RM150 to RM200 for their accounts and bankcards to be used,” he said, adding that about RM130,000 had been transferred by the syndicate to accounts in Indonesia.

He said the three suspects, aged between 30 and 40, were in the process of being charged in court under Section 420 of the Penal Code that carries a maximum jail term of one-year, whipping and a fine. The others were released on police bail.

Sidin said that there were a total of about 40 such cases reported in Sabah over a period of time reported in Sabah. -TheStar


Around RM130,000 and RM36,661 transactions is mentioned on the articles above, I believe there are more transactions and more peoples involved out there as I believed most Malaysians that were cheated has not made a police report. This amount is raised from just 2-3 suspects(operating from Sabah only), imagine how much amount might be gained from other syndicate which is still free on the road now. I hope that the police could do better job in busting this syndicate like forming a monitoring unit that relates to Internet and Mobile Communication issues in this country.

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Kugan is the co-founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy

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