'Datuk' among those detained for deceiving public with bogus oil and gas projects

13 Jun 2023 12:16pm
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jauteh Dikun
Sabah police commissioner Datuk Jauteh Dikun

KOTA KINABALU - Four individuals, including a man claiming himself as 'Datuk', were detained for attempting to deceive the public by offering dubious oil and gas projects in the state.

The arrests took place on June 5 after a report was filed regarding their fraudulent activities.

Among the arrested individuals was a woman aged between 40 to 60.

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jauteh Dikun said the suspects were posing as middlemen for the Kudat Oil and Gas Industrial Park (Kogip) project and were soliciting advance deposits from contractors in the state.

"Investigations revealed that the suspects had no authority or access to the project, as it was still in the discussion phase and had not reached the stage of being offered.

"Following the report, the suspects were detained for four days to facilitate further investigations before being released on police bail," he told a press conference after attending the Sabah Contingent Police Headquarters monthly assembly in Dataran Kawad here on Tuesday.

The Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) has initiated investigations under Section 420/511 of the Penal Code.

"While one of the individuals claimed to hold the title of 'Datuk,' the matter is still under investigation.

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"It is believed that the suspects had been carrying out these fraudulent activities for a considerable period of time, and previous police reports have been filed against them. However, no individuals have reported being deceived in this particular case," he added.

Jauteh advised the public, especially contractors, to exercise caution and not to be easily deceived into entering into deals for projects that cannot be substantiated.

He also warned against providing advance payments without proper evidence, as many complaints received by the police involved victims making advance payments for project management fees without any proof.

"If precautions are not taken, the projects may never be completed, resulting in financial losses for the victims," he said.

On a separate matter, Jauteh also mentioned that the crime index statistics for the first half of this year showed a decrease of 59.6 per cent.

However, he noted a slight increase in violent crimes, such as riots, compared to the previous year, while property crimes had decreased.

He added that the police successfully resolved 72 per cent of the reported cases so far this year.