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By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, Oct 25: Is Kuching becoming a lawless city? Another day, another case of a scam syndicate. It appears that Kuching, or even Sarawak, is becoming dangerous, as gangsters can now stop cars in the middle of the road to confront their victims.
According to Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, at 8.30am this morning near Everrise Padungan, a scam victim only identified as Lim, 21, was in his car with his mother when two vehicles blocked their path, with alleged gangsters attempting to “intimidate and kidnap him”.
“Lim and his mother were on their way to my office when their car was suddenly blocked and knocked by the gangsters.
“So I rushed to the Padungan Police Station to make a report, and a few cops rushed down to Everrise Padungan, but the hooligans drove away quickly,” Chong told reporters at a press conference held today in front of the Padungan police station here.
He went on to say that around April 2022, the 21-year-old had met a lady on WeChat who enticed him to join her company.
“The lady informed Lim that in order to join the company, he must open a bank account and then provide the bank account details, such as the username, password, and ATM card details, for the company to operate the bank account.
“The company will then compensate him with RM200 per month. This means that Lim’s bank account is being rented by the company.
“The lady also stated that if Lim finds more people who open bank accounts with Maybank and allow the company to manage their accounts, he will be paid RM200 per month as a commission,” he said.
Such practices are known as mule accounts, in which it is defined as an account that is used to receive and transfer funds acquired illegally on behalf others, according to Maybank.
Chong, also the Padungan assemblyman, added that the lady also informed Lim that the commission for other bank accounts is only RM50 per month.
Furthermore, he revealed that in May, June, and July that Lim had opened two bank accounts, one with Maybank and the other with CIMB, and he gave the bank details for the company to operate, for which he was paid RM400 per month, and at the same time Lim introduced his friends to do the same thing for which he received a commission.
“Then around June, the company engaged Lim to work full-time for them, with the business being to rent bank accounts from people to others who want to use them as third-party accounts to operate whatever business they are in.
“After a few months, Lim realised there was something wrong with the operation and informed his boss that he wanted to resign and after reading a number of articles about scams.
“But the boss told him that if he wanted to leave, he had to pay the company more than RM100,000 in severance pay, which was extortion,” he pointed out.
Chong emphasised that Lim did not borrow money from the company, but they had continued to extort money from him.
“Lim was beaten up a few days ago by gangsters who I believe were hired by the company.
“The gangsters went to Lim’s house and demanded that he sign some documents today promising to pay the RM100,000 at a legal firm appointed by the boss,” he noted.
Chong then expressed gratitude to the police for acting quickly this morning to assist Lim and his mother after their car was stopped by gangsters. — DayakDaily