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Global $1 billion scam syndicate busted by Aussie investigator



One of the world's biggest scam syndicates that swindled more than $1 billion from unsuspecting investors has been busted by an Australian investigator.

New South Wales-based cybercrime investigator and chairman of IFW global Ken Gamble launched a worldwide investigation to dismantle the elaborate boiler room scam which used high-pressure sales tactics via call centres to persuade investors to buy fake shares in companies. 

Gamble told 2GB's Ben Fordham the investigation took more than three years to pinpoint the syndicate which has resulted in 80 arrests, including the kingpin of the operation.

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"It is a great feeling to nail them I mean it was a lot of work. We started this investigation in 2020 we were first tipped off about this group," he told the Nine radio station.

The syndicate was targeting unsuspecting investors around the world, including Australians who were scammed out of $1 billion.

Gamble said at the start of his investigation they found a lot of money that was conned from people around the world thinking it was being invested as company shares were going through Hong Kong bank accounts and Chinese banks.

After tracing these funds, they found the money was being transferred to Thailand and Singapore.

From Thailand, the funds were cashed out and physically transported across the border to Malaysia.

"We knew who they (the syndicate) were for a long time but we couldn't pinpoint where their offices were. That's what took a lot of work," he said.

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Gamble said locating the perpetrators took "good old-fashioned detective work".

"There's no other secret to it," he said.

He was even told by people in the industry not to go near dismantling the boiler room scam as he would be putting "his life in danger".

But Gamble persevered and three years after he started investigating his team had multiple breakthroughs.

He flew to Malaysia and met with the country's Anti-Corruption Commission which resulted in the arrests and takedown of the syndicate.

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Global boiler room scam syndicate busted in Malaysia

Now Gamble is hopeful the Australians who were duped out of hundreds of thousands of dollars may get some of their money back.

"Over $4.3 million was seized during the operation and 54 bank accounts frozen so there's a good chance there will be funds recovered," he said.

"If there is ever a chance of getting money back this is the greatest chance we will ever have because of the amount of law enforcement involved in the operation."

Gamble said the investigation is ongoing.

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