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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Desperate Ah Long Syndicates Stage Fake Kidnap Dramas For Ransom - Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Desperate for money, Ah Long syndicates have retorted to staging fake kidnap attempts to extort ransom from unsuspecting victims or their family members.

In a recent case on Aug 6, a businessman was duped RM3,000 after he received a phone call from a stranger who told him that his 17-year-old son had been kidnapped and would be brutally murdered if they failed to pay the ransom.

However, upon checking his son's school, the businessman found that his son was safe and sound.

MCA Public Complaints Bureau head Michael Chong said syndicates claiming to be Ah Longs, normally called up the parents to inform them that their children had been kidnapped and would be killed if they did not come up with the ransom, which may amount to RM50,000.

"The syndicate's tactics was calling up the victims and then letting them hear the voice of a person in the background that would be similar to their children screaming for help and in agony.

"This shows that these syndicates do a little background research on the family members they wished to target," Chong told reporters at his office here, Thursday.

He said his office had received eight phone calls since April, from parents who had been contacted on their mobile phones and land lines by such syndicates, namely in Brickfields and Cheras.

Chong said such syndicates have now moved on to victims in secondary schools and colleges after committing such scams at primary schools.

In the Aug 6 case, the headmistress of the school confirmed that there had been five or six similar cases in the school.

"Police have arrested a suspect believed to be part of the syndicate in Cheras, and many more will be caught soon. The syndicate members are believed to be women and also foreign citizens," he said.

Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur CID Chief Datuk Ku Chin Wah when contacted by Bernama said a man in his 40s, had been arrested at Taman Cheras at about 12 noon, yesterday. -- BERNAMA

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