Miri police investigating ‘pukau gang’ for duping Brunei couple

National 1 minute, 20 seconds


THE Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) under Miri's Police Department Headquarters are in the process of identifying suspects believed to have hypnotised a Bruneian couple into handing over $1,000 last weekend.

The investigating officer of the case yesterday said authorities have been examining the close circuit television footage of the retail store in Piasau where the Bruneian couple were allegedly duped on Sunday morning.

“We have identified two men from the CCTV footage,” said Inspector Hamizu Nawai. “And we are trying our best to find out their identities.”

The inspector said cases where unsuspecting individuals were made to give up money and valuables after being put “in a trance” by scammers have been reported in Sarawak recently.

“Although we have been seeing this happen across Malaysia (east and west), we are investigating to see if there is any relation between Sunday's crime and other pukau (hypnosis) scams recorded in areas like Kuching,” he said.

The ongoing investigation found that no verbal or physical threats had been made on the Bruneian couple before the money was handed over.

Instead the victims' statement writes that their last memory were men asking where they could change their money. What follows is a gap in consciousness, and upon coming to their senses they realised that they were missing $1,000.

As Malaysia does not have provisions to penalise losses stemming from hypnosis, the alleged crime is being investigated as fraud.

“Judging from the victims' statement it is being treated as a crime of deception (fraud) — where they have been essentially tricked unconciously into handing over the money,” said the inspector.

The Brunei Times