News From Daily Express Dated: 6 August 2002
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah police believe they have smashed two of three syndicates involved in Sports Toto 6-D and 4-D prize-claiming fraud, using forged tickets and cheques, with the arrest of six suspects including three Indonesians this year.
Deputy Head of OCCI Sabah (Commercial Crimes), DSP Khairi bin Ahrasa, said Monday five of them had been prosecuted and police were on the heels of the third syndicate which is believed to be on the move from one place to another.
He said the arrests were made in Keningau, Tawau and Lahad Datu and 15 of 28 reported cases (23 Sports Toto 6-D & five 4-D) were solved, which accounted for a success rate of 53.57 per cent. Of the cases recorded during the January-August period, Kota Kinabalu had 19, Tawau six and one each in Sandakan, Penampang and Keningau.
"The latest arrest was made last Saturday (Aug 3) in Lahad Datu where the suspect is a 25-year-old unemployed Bugis from Kg Panji. His accomplice, 32, believed to be a foreigner, is still at large. The case is still under investigation," he told Daily Express. However, his attempt to cheat was foiled by the wisdom of the victim who happened to be a personnel from Kem PGA.
According to Khairi, the victim arrested the suspect and brought him to the Lahad Datu police station where he lodged a report at 2.30pm. He said earlier, the victim was approached by the suspect in front of the Milemewa Supermarket who offered him RM10,000 as commission if the former could help in claiming the prize of RM100,000 which he (suspect) had won in the Sports Toto 6-D lottery.
The suspect told the victim that he could not do so as he did not have any personal identification document on him. Just then, the suspect's friend came along on the pretext of helping him (suspect) to collect the prize-money. After receiving the lottery ticket from the suspect, the victim went to the lottery outlet to check the authenticity of the ticket. When one of the suspects realised that their "prey" was a police personnel, he fled the scene.
The victim, upon finding the ticket was a fake, went looking for the suspects and managed to arrest one of them. Khairi said the victims in most of the 28 cases were civil servants, housewives and people from rural areas, 80 per cent of whom are middle-aged and elderly. "Based on our investigations, members of the syndicate would target those who walk alone in town," he added.
On the 13 unresolved cases, he called on the victims to come forward and co-operate with the police in tracing the suspects. "Without public help, it will be difficult for the police to solve such cases, considering the ease with which they could deceive people."