Kuala Lumpur, Jan 19 (IANS) Police in Malaysia have smashed a telecom fraud syndicate and arrested 12 Chinese suspects in a crackdown on cross-border cyber crime.
The Chinese - aged between 19 and 36 - were operating from a bungalow near Kuala Lumpur, Xinhua cited the crime investigation department as saying.
They impersonated Malaysian investigators to cheat victims on the phone and demanded them to transfer funds to the suspects' bank account.
Authorities said the suspects were "well-trained" and threatened to freeze their victims' bank accounts for three to five years if they defied the instructions.
Most of the victims are also believed to be Chinese.
Police seized 41 landline phones, 21 mobile phones, laptops, broadband devices, printers and documents when they raided the bungalow.
Police are still investigating the amount of money the suspects have swindled.
Over the last year, Malaysian authorities have arrested at least 240 people and busted 204 telecom fraud syndicates that swindled 3.5 million ringgit ($1.16 million).
In 2011, authorities brought down 170 similar syndicates that raked in three million ringgit ($1 million).