Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meet Malaysian Idol as the most wanted conman

Yes, most of United Malays National Organisation's leaders are the real CON-MEN in the country. From the president down to branch leaders, their ways of robbing our country are well known but most will be escaped (in this world but not hereafter, if they still have faith in Allah) with their conections and networks of thieves.

Then I read this report on a master fraudster who has managed to steal millions from no less than six states under United Malays National Organisation and its cohorts. Could he be another proxy of United Malays National Organisation gangs?

Beware of the Master fraudster

A man described as a “master fraudster” by police, who has fleeced funds from State governments and private businesses over the last nine years, has resurfaced.

Syed Ismail Syed Alwi, 38, who’s high on the Royal Malaysian Police’s wanted list, has todate chalked up a whopping 50 cases since 2005, with five cases this year alone.

None of his victims have ever seen his face because he continues to use runners and the only photo that the police have of him was taken when he was arrested in 2000 in connection with a forged cheque case. He was also arrested in Selangor last year on suspicion of rape but subsequently released on bail.

It is believed that his features could have changed dramatically, leading police to seek information from the public as to his whereabouts. Syed Ismail has been identified by police as the man responsible for conning the Penang State Treasury of RM3.1 million, and the Malacca government of RM770,000, both in 2003.

Police also believe that he has bilked millions from no fewer than six States. Syed Ismail’s return was brought to Malay Mail’s attention when a scam implicating the Rural and Regional Development Ministry and its Community Development Department (Kemas) was alerted to us by a local book publisher who was wily enough to see through the syndicate’s trap (see accompanying story).

This year alone, Syed Ismail has successful ly pilfered RM124,000 from his victims. His most recent con left a T-shirt manufacturer RM20,000 poorer on Wednesday.

Police have been following Syed Ismail's trail but keep running into a brickwall time and time again due to the nature of his modus operandi.

City Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief ACP Mohd Aris Ramli told Malay Mail that Syed Ismail, who used to operate in Kuala Lumpur, has since targeted Putrajaya where most of the ministries are located.

There, he adopts the moniker of “Dr Ibrahim”, “Dr Aziz”, or a variety of other identities with a “Dr” to his name, claiming to represent a certain ministry or government agency in making certain purchases. Deals are all done over the telephone where the victims are also asked to pay an amount of cash for “processing purposes”.

To make it all the more convincing, the meeting point for payment is at the ministry buildings themselves.

The final pièce de résistance is delivered by a runner who hands over a forged cheque to the gullible victims and makes off with the cash. To lend credence to the deal, the syndicate issues forged banker's cheques to their victims.

The ruse is only discovered when the cheque bounces, and by that time, it is already too late.

Last year, three runners in connection with the scams were caught by police but they were not able to provide a lead to Syed Ismail's whereabouts.

Mohd Aris said the runners had claimed they were not even aware of the nature of the transaction taking place. They were only paid to perform deliveries and pick ups at specified locations. The cash made from the victims is then left at a predetermined location for Syed Ismail to collect later.

Who is Syed Ismail Syed Alwi?

The conman made media headlines in October 2003 when police identified him as the brains behind a syndicate which had siphoned RM3.1 million from the Penang State Treasury.

Syed Ismail, who was arrested for a similar scam in Kuala Lumpur in 2000, was also believed to have used 111 forged cheques belonging to the Malacca Chief Minister's Department to siphon off RM770,000 from the State Treasury in April 2003.

He is believed to have bilked millions from no less than six States.

In February 2001, the syndicate, claiming to represent then Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali and Puteri Umno used students from a private college to fleece the State of RM496,000.

Syed Ismail, 38, who was speculated by the media to be the son of a former Johor Special Branch head, is the leader of a syndicate that used dud cheques produced by high-tech printers to siphon off funds. The matter of his blood ties was never resolved.

The syndicate has also targeted institutions of higher learning and even goldsmiths, where it made its profit buying gold bars with bogus cheques at an inflated price, and receiving a "commission" of sorts from the transaction.

Aside from the fraud cases for which Syed Ismail gained media attention for in 2003, the suspect was investigated by police for allegedly raping his girlfriend last year.

His last known address is No 122, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman 4, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Petaling Jaya.Syed Ismail has been on the Royal Malaysian Police Most Wanted List since October 2002.

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