KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 — Local police have busted a Japanese phone scam syndicate operating out of a condominium in the Malaysian capital that have been targeting their own countrymen for the past few months.
Seven Japanese men aged between 23 and 41 were arrested during a police raid last night following a tip-off from the Japanese Embassy, Kyodo News reported.
The Japanese news agency cited Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf as confirming the arrests.
Ramli told Kyodo that police believe the scammers used Skype call and messaging apps to contact potential victims.
According to the news agency, the scammers would call their targets while pretending to be bank staff and claim there were problems with their accounts before providing other accounts and asking for money to be transferred there.
The seven Japanese suspects have reportedly been charged with violating Malaysian immigration laws and being detained locally pending further investigation.
Kyodo reported a pattern in Japanese scam groups operating out of South-east Asia who have been defrauding senior citizens from their home country of their pension money.
The news agency reported groups of Japanese being arrested in Phnom Penh, Cambodia earlier this month, as well as in Bangkok, Thailand on suspicion of perpetrating similar scams.