Former aide to PKR’s Tebrau MP arrested for cash fraud

Ben Tan
The suspect was arrested by the Johor Baru South commercial crimes department on Monday for allegedly doctoring 200 shopping vouchers worth about RM30,000 from a non-governmental organisation for a back-to-school programme in December last year. — Reuters

JOHOR BARU, Sept 17 — A 27-year-old former aide to a PKR MP Steven Choong has recently been nabbed by police for a spate of fraud cases, allegedly involving cash, house deposits and items under the guise that he represented the lawmaker.

The suspect, who hails from Taman Johor Jaya, has been on the wanted list for cheating the public in three police districts: Johor Baru South, Johor Baru North and also Seri Alam.

It was learnt that the suspect is skilled at doctoring bank statements and also transfer chits that he will use to text his victims through the WhatsApp messaging app.

A source, familiar with the case, said the suspect was arrested by the Johor Baru South commercial crimes department on Monday for allegedly doctoring 200 shopping vouchers worth about RM30,000 from a non-governmental organisation for a back-to-school programme in December last year.

“He was picked-up at the Johor Baru North police station where he had just completed a three-day remand order for a separate case where he allegedly cheated a furniture shop,” said the source to Malay Mail today.

The source said the Johor Baru North commercial crimes department had earlier nabbed the suspect at his family home in Jalan Rosmerah in Taman Johor Jaya on September 12, following a report lodged by a furniture shop owner in Tampoi in August 10.

“In the case, the furniture shop was cheated off more than RM8,000 for office furniture claiming that he was the special assistant to the Johor PKR parliamentarian.

“The furniture had been sent to an office that was claimed to be for a new PKR service centre in Tampoi.

“The suspect also doctored a bank transfer image that was sent via mobile phone to the shop owners who suspected something amiss as the amount did not reflect on the shop’s bank account,” explained the source.

The source said initial investigations revealed that the suspect had also “assured” the shop owner as it was a parliamentary account under the government and it would take three to four days to clear.

However, the source said the shop owners felt something amiss and decided to lodge a police report.

“Investigators believe that he has more than nine pending cases under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating.

“Police are also probing a housing scam where several victims were said to have paid the suspect thousands of ringgit for deposits to secure a home last year.,” said the source.

In response, Tebrau MP Steven Choong confirmed to Malay Mail that he has fired the suspect from his office since January this year, after he was caught doctoring vouchers.

“I have done my best as an elected representative to inform my constituents and also all government departments in the state that the suspect is not related to my office anymore.

“I also deny any links to the alleged scams by him,” said the PKR lawmaker.

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