RP Embassy in Malaysia Warns Against “Customs Scam”
Friday, 06 August 2010 10:04 Public Information Service Unit
06 August 2010 - The Philippine Embassy in Malaysia warned Filipinos, particularly those working and residing in Southeast Asia, of the so-called "customs scam".
The scam, usually targeting women holding stable jobs in reputable companies, involve promises of securing a valuable package in exchange for remitting money to the perpetrators. This is in the light of a case involving a Filipina construction project secretary in Brunei who met a certain British national named Mr. Hans Owen through the internet. Mr. Owen later became her fiancé-apparently even without having met him face-to-face-allegedly sent her a "valuable package" that purportedly required customs clearance during a stopover in Malaysia.
Mr. Owen convinced the Filipina to remit US$9,200 through Western Union to a certain Mr. Nasir Eric, allegedly a resident of Bandar Baru in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Ampang. The money was sent in two tranches-one on June 17 and another on June 18.
Other than the two remittances, she also reportedly sent £780 to Mr. Owen on June 25.
Not suprsingly, no package arrived and the Filipina has not heard from either man or recovered her money.
The Embassy has reported the case to the Interpol section of the Malaysian Police and is continuously following up on the case.
Meanwhile, news reports in Kuala Lumpur revealed that a group of four Nigerians and two Malaysian who are in the "customs scam" was arrested after a woman senior executive in a private firm in Penang state reported them.
The woman executive responded to an email message that she can secure a valuable package if she assisted the Nigerians in settling some tax payments and other formalities, before the customs department can clear the goods. She later complained to the police that she lost Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 30,000 (US$9,375) to the syndicate.
Police arrested the four Nigerians, who are holders of Malaysian student visas. The two Malaysians arrested with them were "dummies" used to open local bank accounts to facilitate the scam.
The Malaysian police is investigating the group's possible links to other syndicates operating in the country. END