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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two bogus Customs officials intending to cheat held

Two locals Sabahan were detained for impersonating Customs Department officials with the intention to cheat people into buying so-called marked-down items seized during Customs raids last month.

A combined effort by the city police force and Kepayan police headquarters saw the men, aged 49 and 58, arrested after they attempted to con a man into purchasing several items on Feb 27.

The suspects had earlier met the man near the Customs office in the city centre, near the ferry terminal, to discuss the prices of the items.

"The suspects will always meet their 'clients' near the Customs office but never in the compound itself," said City Police Chief, ACP Ahmad Sofi Zakaria.

To expound that they were genuine staff of the agency, the suspects also brought along sheets of what seemed to look like forms printed with the Customs emblem.

"They tried selling anything from mobile phones to laptops and even fragrant riceÉsometimes the price could go up to RM6,000.

"When the man agreed to the prices for the items, the suspects told him to wait while they walked into the Customs office. Sure enough they disappeared into the compound but never returnedÉmaybe that was their way of showing they worked there."

Ahmad Sofi said the man thought the men's failure to return was peculiar and immediately alerted the police, adding the suspects were detained at nearby Jalan Gaya thereafter.

"This is the first arrest concerning this scamÉwe are trying to trace if there were others involved," he said, urging the public not to be fooled.

Meanwhile, police seized 17 computers and RM785 in an anti-cyber gambling operation at Sinsuran Complex, here, last Tuesday.

Six people, aged between 20 and 35, comprising five men customers and a woman caretaker were also detained in the raid.


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