Malaysian authorities have arrested 14 Chinese men for operating a Bitcoin investment scam and violating the Immigration Act.
Assistant Commander, Dzulkhairi Mukhatar, stated that the arrests took place on April 18, following two-months of surveillance.
All of the suspects are aged between 20 and 30, three of whom do not have “valid travel documents,” according to the officer.
Malaysian police arrest crypto scammers targeting China
The group impersonated wealthy investors and targeted victims through popular Chinese messaging applications, WeChat and QQ. “All of the suspects would then give a fake testimony to persuade the victim into investing, “ said Assistant Commander Mukhatar.
The detainees face charges under the Penal Code for cheating — which may carry a jail term of up to ten years, a caning, and possible fines. They may also be charged under the Immigration Act — which may carry fines of up to $2,300, a jail term of up to five years, and up to six strokes of whipping.
Police are still investigating the number of victims and sums of money lost to the scam.
Malaysian prime minister impersonated to peddle crypto scam
In November 2019, Malaysian police arrested four men and one woman for drilling a hole in a concrete wall connecting two buildings to steal 85 Bitcoin miners, valued at approximately $10,300 each. Police reported that the team did not wish to sell the hardware, intending to operate it themselves instead.
The suspects had rented the building next door to a warehouse housing a Bitcoin mining operation for one day to scope the surroundings before drilling through the wall. The five friends had no prior criminal records, and were aged between 25 and 46 years.
In July of last year, local media reported that Malaysia’s then-prime minister Mahathir bin Mohamad had been impersonated by con artists promoting a Bitcoin scam via email.