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The following warning was published in 2007. More recent comments have questioned whether this might be an unfounded rumour or urban myth. Decide for yourself...

Kuala Lumpur, September 2007

A few days ago a new type of crime has surfaced in town. It goes something like this:-

I am told this often happens to foreigners and tourists at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) or even on LRT trains. Given that you're 'guilty until proven innocent' as far as the Malaysian police are concerned, I understand some poor people are in jail for these 'offences'.

At the KLIA, the 'owner' throws his hand-phone and wallet with the few ringgit notes into the luggage trolley of a just arrived passenger. The drama unfolds a few minutes later. The real culprit has easily convinced our Malaysian police to arrest the real victim (if he has not paid up the 'settlement' demand). This is a very serious matter.

This is another form of extortionists operating in broad daylight. They are disgusting criminals who will do anything to rob and steal. The sickening part of the whole scenario is that unless you pay the "quoted settlement" money, they will put you in real trouble by calling the police. The real culprit gets back his hand-phone and wallet but the real victim (who could be any one of us) is thrown into the police lock up and charged in court.

So do be very careful, otherwise you may end up as a "thief" as you have no way to prove your innocence.

Pass it on... let more people be aware of such things around them.