88 percent jump in commercial crime cases this year

Aidi (left) officiating the inaugural ViSFA 2021 yesterday via Zoom conference.

KUCHING: Sarawak police have recorded an increase of 88 percent in commercial crime cases involving losses totalling RM39 million this year.

Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail said the state’s Commercial Criminal Investigation Department (CCID) recorded a total of 1,922 cases from Jan 1 to Aug 31 this year.

“This showed an increase of 901 cases or 88 percent compared to last year’s figure of 1,021 cases for the same period.

“This year’s figure involved losses amounting to RM39 million, a decrease of RM13.8 million or 26.33 percent compared to last year’s losses of RM52.8 million,” he said when officiating the Virtual Sarawak Financial Awareness (ViSFA) 2021 via a Zoom online conference yesterday (Oct 5)

Among the commercial crime cases involving the most victims this year are non-existent money lending scams with 236 cases involving RM3.09 million; Macau scams (120 cases involving RM4.12 million); online impersonation (96 cases involving RM597,000); car sales (92 cases involving RM980,000); and African love scams (88 cases involving RM1.9 million).

He explained that the CCID was the responsible department to investigate cases involving scams, criminal breach of trust, cybercrimes, unlicensed money lending and others.

Touching on the modus operandi used by suspects to con their victims, Aidi shared that suspects would often use social media applications and calls to contact their victims.

“From there, they will disguise themselves as alleged officers from government agencies such as the police, bank, post office, Inland Revenue Board (IRB), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and others.

“The victims will later be instructed to make a sum of payment for various reasons made up by the suspects with the intention to steal the money from their bank accounts,” he said.

To avoid falling prey into the scam, the public must never disclose their banking information to the suspects and they should not panic or be afraid if they did not commit any criminal offences.

Aidi added that should they receive suspicious calls from unknown numbers, they should immediately end the calls.

“I would like to remind and assure that the police and other enforcement agencies will never contact the public via phone calls to inform them about their involvements in criminal cases or even to solve cases.

“Aside from that, we will never ask the public to put money into the accounts of certain individuals to solve a case.

“If they are doubtful, the public are advised to contact the police or go to the nearest police station to channel information,” he said.

To further improve the fast and accurate service delivery system, the Bukit Aman CCID have set up a CCID Infoline at 013-2111222 and CCID Scam Response Centre at 03-26101559.

Everyone can use the info-lines to channel information and complaints or to inquire about commercial crimes.