Sarawak contractor loses RM20 million in billboard con

A contractor in Sarawak has been conned of RM20 million by a syndicate that forged a federal ministry letterhead from Kuala Lumpur for billboard contracts outside the state that never existed, said State Police Commissioner Mortadza Nazarene.

“The contract work purportedly awarded in April 2010 was completed by the victim in November of the same year and upon completion, he wanted to claim the RM20 million but was never entertained, and this prompted the victim to personally check with the ministry,” he said after a meeting with Sarawak Commercial Crime Investigation Department Chief, Supt Mohd Firdaus Abdullah, here today.

Mortadza said the victim was shocked to discover that the ministry was not only unaware of the contract but the letterhead of the ministry was forged, prompting him to lodge the police report this month.

“The contractor claimed that the letter of award for the job purportedly came from the ministry headquarters in Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that the suspects had claimed they were well connected to the ministry.

Refusing to name which ministry’s letterhead had been forged, he said, police had identified the culprits and they would be nabbed soon.

On the trend of commercial crime cases in Sarawak, he said, up to the third quarter of this year, there was a decline of 10.34 per cent or 161 reports with a total of 1,398 commercial crime cases being reported compared with 1,559
reports for the corresponding period last year.

“Overall total losses suffered by the victims for the same period this year amounted to RM27 million compared with RM30 million last year,” he said.

For cyber crime cases, he said, from January to Sept 15 this year, a total of 252 cases were reported with total losses amounting to RM4 million.

– Bernama