The president of a political party in Sabah has been arrested on suspicion of masterminding an information card fraud syndicate targeting foreigners, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said today.
Speaking at a press conference at Bukit Aman in Kuala Lumpur, he said the individual in question, Mohd Arshad Abdul Mualap of Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS), was arrested alongside one other person.
They are being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code, and were charged at the Shah Alam court this morning.
Hamzah said the arrest was made on June 22, at the suspect’s home in Subang Jaya.
“Arshad registered PPRS as a party in 2017,” he said. “It has not yet been determined whether the other individual arrested as well is also a member of the party.”
Hamzah said the syndicate was exposed after he received a tip-off from a foreigner living abroad and told Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani to conduct an investigation.
He said the syndicate had told its victims that the cards could be used in Malaysia, and would allow them the same benefits as locals.
“The government has never instructed any party to issue cards like this,” he said.
“If we do it, we will make an announcement about it.”
He said he was made to understand that the syndicate members had charged a number of fees in order to make a profit.
In Malaysia, he said, there were only four legitimate identification cards registered with the National Registration Department: the blue IC for locals, the red IC for permanent residents with non-citizen status, the green IC for non-citizens on temporary stays, and the brown IC for those punished for major offences.