Malaysian police arrested three Nigerians and a Filipina while a fourth Nigerian fell to his death – allegedly trying to avoid arrest – during a crackdown on an online ‘romance scam’ in Selangor.
The drama occurred in the early hours of Sunday in Gombak, after police responded to claims that a 58-year-old housewife had been cheated out of 13,200 ringgits (US$3,380).
The woman told Malaysian police she developed a romantic online relationship with a man on Facebook last year who claimed to be British, China Press reported.
Her ‘boyfriend’ told the woman he had sent her some gifts, but the parcel was “detained by customs” and she had to transfer him money before it could be cleared and sent to her.
The woman reported the case to police as she suspected she might have fallen victim to scammers after several transfers totaling 13,200 ringgits (US$3,380) to the man.
At 12.30am on March 11, officers raided a unit in a condominium in Desa Aman Puri, Gombak, where a Nigerian man and a Filipino woman were arrested.
An hour later, police knocked on the door of another unit on the 13th floor of the same condo block and busted into it successfully after about 15 minutes, where they found another Nigerian man and a woman.
But the pair in the second apartment said a Nigerian accomplice had climbed outside – to try to evade arrest. This fifth individual was later confirmed to have fallen to his death.
Seven debit cards, eight mobile phones and five laptops were seized during the operation.
A preliminary police investigation found that the four people arrested, aged from 30 to 34, were allegedly responsible in the romance scam. Three had used student passes to enter Malaysia, while the other was supposedly on a social visit.
The four were remanded in custody until March 24 to assist police with their inquiries.