Following the Macau syndicate scam which came to light last week, Malaysian police has arrested the 52 foreigners allegedly involved, for entering the country while posing as IT workers.

Digging deeper, sources close to The Star revealed that these foreigners - 46 from China and six from Taiwan - had no IT experience but were still recruited and flown into the country. They were recruited through online sites and promised high paying jobs with monthly salaries ranging between RM4,000 and RM6,000 at a company in Johor, Malaysia.

The police said the “IT workers” were placed in call centres in Johor Baru that operated for 24 hours. The workers had to make dozens of calls daily using prepared scripts. Together with three Malaysians, they were running the call centres from six bungalows rented for between RM15,000 and RM20,000 each per month.

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Using Voice over Internet Protocol technology, the suspects replicated phone numbers of the police, central banks and other government agencies, and called up potential victims, accusing them of performing criminal activities overseas. The suspects will then ask the victims to make payments or transfer their money into other accounts to prevent it from being frozen.

A police team from the Iskandar Puteri district commercial crime unit eventually arrested the group last week. The Johor police are now working with their Taiwanese counterparts to identify the mastermind behind the racket, which has made millions duping victims in China and Taiwan.

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