JOHOR BARU, Nov 15 — Johor police have crippled a state-wide syndicate selling fake Datukships for millions of ringgit with the arrest of two men here.
The enforcement was pursuant to several reports lodged against the two on October 30.
It was learnt one of the suspects was a prominent Johor businessman previously active in the Batu Pahat community policing organisation.
Johor police chief Datuk Mohd Khalil Kader Mohd said the scam involved convincing victims to pay between RM180,000 and RM280,000 for their titles that range from “Datuk” to the more prestigious “Datuk Seri”.
“Initial investigations showed that the victims were required to join an exclusive VVIP club by paying a fee before they can be considered for the awards,” he said at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.
On Monday, Malay Mail published an exclusive story on the arrest of a prominent Batu Pahat businessman who was linked to the sale of fake titles purportedly from Pahang.
Mohd Khalil said the suspects, aged 40 and 57, were also active in a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Batu Pahat through which they offered the titles.
“However, our investigations showed that the NGO is not connected to the sale of the fake titles and the suspects only used the organisation as a ‘platform’ to further their scam,” he said.
Police also seized several items including fake award medals, royal appointment letters and ceremonial uniforms used by the suspects to convince victims that they had the clout to recommend people for titles from a neighbouring state.
Mohd Khalil reminded the public to be wary of such scams as Datukships may not be purchased and were bestowed at the discretion of the heads of each state or the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
He said police are still investigating the case, adding that 13 reports have been lodged against the syndicate members involving losses of more than RM1.34 million.
Mohd Khalil said investigators have also identified 40 individuals involved in the syndicate.
“We are also on tracking another member of the syndicate who is in their 30s that can assist us in our probe,” he said.