95 people awarded titles in bogus ceremony by ‘Datuk’

95 people awarded titles in bogus ceremony by ‘Datuk’

ALOR SETAR: About 200 guests, including several VIPs and retired civil servants from various states, attended a four-hour investiture ceremony at a hotel here which saw 95 people being awarded various medals and titles. It was all fake.

Soon after the “investiture” ceremony, police raided and detained a “Datuk” over his role in the medal scam, which was done using the name of a member of the royalty.

Kedah police chief Comm Datuk Asri Yusoff said yesterday that the suspect, in his 50s, was picked up at the medal presentation ceremony organised by a volunteer association in Perak, at 1.30pm on Wednesday.

Comm Asri said the cheating was done by linking the name of a royal who was said to have given his blessings, he told a press conference at the state police contingent headquarters here.

He added that the ceremony was attended by about 200-odd guests from Kedah, Penang and Perak.

The ceremony was officiated by a VIP who was told to award the medals on behalf of his elder brother. However, he did not know anything about the scam, he said.

Comm Asri said the victims who were conferred the Ahli Kehormat Pingat Setia Raja Negara (PSRN) medal were required to bank in RM5,000 each to the association’s account as members fee.

“The PSRN title does not carry any ‘Datukship’ but the recipients were made to believe that it would increase their chances of obtaining government projects.

“We are collecting information on the suspect. We are also investigating if the Datukship he holds is a genuine one.

“We have also found out that the suspect had tried to organise a similar investiture event in a northern state earlier, but it did not materialise,” he said, adding that some victims had already lodged police reports.

He said although the association was registered under the Registrar of Societies (RoS), an association could not award any medal resembling those issued by the palace to the public.

Following the arrest, police seized the backdrop of the ceremony, five souvenir plaques, a trophy, 65 sashes and 66 medals.

Those with information on the conferment of the awards are urged to contact the investigating officer at 013-5882930.

Meanwhile, according to a source, police were already at the venue from the beginning of the ceremony. They had recorded the ceremony and photographed most of those who attended the ceremony.

“The police believed that of the 95 recipients, 70 had paid while 25 others were invited and given the medals for free. Those who received free medals were mainly from the police and army veteran associations.

“Many of them initially denied making any payment but police later found receipts showing payments had been made.

“Investigations are also carried out to see if the money paid by the recipients was banked into the Perak-based volunteer association.”

Source: The Star Online

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