MELAKA, Aug 11 ― Police have busted the largest syndicate involved in the selling and counterfeiting of letters conferring fake Melaka state awards and medals which carry the titles of “Datuk” and “Datuk Seri” as well as Justice of the Peace titles following the arrest of two masterminds and 32 individuals.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali said all the suspects were arrested in a series of raids through a special operation from February 22 to March 29 around Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
He said all those arrested, aged between 26 and 70, were believed to have been involved as the masterminds, middlemen and buyers of fake Melaka state awards, medals and honorary titles which are offered at between RM50,000 and RM100,000.
“The raids were conducted based on information from members of the public and the syndicate is masterminded by two men in their 40s, who are believed to have been active since the middle of last year and aided by several middlemen who played the role of promoters and sellers.
“The two masterminds were arrested at a home in Melaka Tengah, which was also used as the centre to print the letters while the fake medals and sashes were ordered from illegal suppliers overseas,” he told a press conference at his office in Seri Negeri here today.
Also present was Melaka Police chief Datuk Abdul Majid Mohd Ali.
Sulaiman said the syndicate’s modus operandi was to target businessmen and promote their activities through contacts before ordering the fake Melaka state awards, medals and honorary titles at a designated place.
“Melaka police also seized various items, among them eight fake Melaka award letters, eight fake Melaka Justice of Peace letters, 13 sashes and 21 medals.
“Also seized were two fake membership cards and 168 sets of Melaka Council of Datuk car emblems, two fake memberships and seven sets of Melaka Justice of the Peace Council car emblems as well as computer equipment and accessories,” he said.
Sulaiman said the Melaka police had opened four investigation papers on the case, which would be investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.
According to him, the case is also being investigated under Section 3(1)(a) and Section 3(1)(b) of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Enactment A21 of the Melaka State Enactment.
He said both the masterminds of the syndicate would be charged in the Ayer Keroh Sessions Court tomorrow. ― Bernama