Police arrested three Nigerian students and a 23-year-old local woman, believed to be members of an African Scam syndicate, for allegedly cheating a 56-year-old a secretary of RM233,227.
The three Nigerians detained were identified as Fred Ajiri, 27, a college student as well as language centre students Akegwure Okpure Israel, 27 and Charles Obia, 28.
The three were arrested on Tuesday at about 3.13am at 1-09-05 Puteri Palma Condominium at the IOI Resort in Putrajaya.
State Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief, Supt Soh Hock Sing said the local woman was arrested earlier in Kuala Lumpur on Aug 23, at about 11.55am.
He said the scam was initiated through Facebook on May 5, when the victim, ?who is from the Portuguese Settlement here befriended a man who introduced himself as Dr Michael Clinton from Switzerland.
?In their on-line conversation, the man said that he was currently attached with the United Nations in Kabul, Afghanistan.
?Dr Michael told the victim that he was planning to open a clinic in Malaysia and asked if the victim would help him keep some money, amounting to US380,000 (RM1.2 million) which he would be sending to her.
?Dr Michael also told the victim that he would be coming to Malaysia sometime in the end of May ,? he said.
Soh said that the victim had on May 29, received an e-mail from Mrs Dorothy Scott which stated that she had received the money on behalf of from Dr Michael. On May 30, the victim received another e-mail stating that the money had arrived safely in Kuching, Sarawak.
?The victim was then told to pay RM54,500 as the Anti Money Laundering fee as it was being brought into the country in cash. The victim then made a transfer of the sum demanded to an AmBank Account belonging to Elfina Azyze at the RHB Bank branch in Melaka Raya.
?The victim was then asked to bank in an additional RM6,500 as a payment for the IMF Seal and the money was to be transferred into the same AmBank account and the victim did as told.
?On July 1, the victim received a call from an agent handling the funds from overseas and was told the the Malaysian Government had requested for a tax payment of seven per cent of the USD380,000 as the money was brought from overseas and that the amount had exceeded the sum allowed to be brought into the country.
?For this, the victim had to pay RM77.227.96. The victim then transferred the amount to the same AmBank account,? he said.
Soh said that the victim had on July 4, received a call from the same agent who now said that the money brought in was not USD380,000 but USD560,000 (RM1.75 million) and that the victim had to pay an additional RM85,000 as tax before the money could be released to her.
?The victim transferred the sum requested to the same AmBank account on July 6.
?On July 8, the victim received a call from the agent, who identified himself as Derek Moyo, and she was requested to come to the Cititel Hotel in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur to collect the money but she had to bring RM10,000 as service fee to the agent,? he said.
Soh said that on July 9, the victim met Derek and a local man in a room at the Cititel Hotel and she was given a metal safe box in which the money sent to her by Dr Michael was being kept.
?When the box was opened the suspect said she was some US dollars before Derek took out a white bottle from the metal box and some A4 papers which was said contained instructions on how to wash the money.
?Derek then used the liquid to wash four pieces of USD100 bills. Derek then told the victim that ?the liquid was insufficient to wash all the money and that the money had to be brought to the lab at the United States Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to be washed.
?Derek told the victim that he needed more cash for this process,? he said.
However, the victim said that she did not bring the cash and could only transfer the money to the AmBank account after she had returned to Malacca.
However, the victim suspected something was wrong and made a report at the Banda Hilir police station upon Aug 16.
Soh said that all four suspects who had been arrested have been remanded till Aug 31 pending the investigations which are carried out Under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.