Malaysia's high-speed financial crime courts.

News Desk

On Thursday, Andrew Mark Peters, 54, and Darren Anthony McNicholas, 50 pleaded guilty to offences of dishonety in a court in Shah Alam, about an hour outside Kuala Lumpur.

On Friday, Lloyd George Bedwell, 48, and Roger Hoi Wing Hu, 46, both British citizens pleaded guilty before a court in Penang, Butterworth.

They were arrested on 21 February on charges of fraud.

They are the first to face a court as a result of Operation Tropicana, a case that is showing the world how to deal with certain types of criminal activity.

The case has been conducted by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and preparation for the original raids was done in such strict secrecy that even the police and immigration were not informed. It is now known that the Commission has looked inside banks and professional and corporate services businesses and identified individuals who assisted in the scheme.

The scheme was a global operation scamming victims of the phone. Lloyd and Hoi, along with Jacob Yadzi, who has disappeared, ran a boiler-room style operation, promising large profits from short-term shareholdings in a company Devon Energy Corp, which was entirely fictitious.

Although the syndicate, which had bases in Malaysia and several other countries is estimated to have cheated victims of some GBP200 million.

Peters: sentenced six months' jail plus MYR180,000 fine with 22 months' additional jail in default
McNicolas: sentenced six months' jail plus MYR140,000 fine with 16 months' additional jail in default
They convinced a Scottish victim to transfer GBP121,000 in to an account in the name of Premier Transfers Limited but the investment did not exist.

The speed of dealing with the criminals has been extraordinary when around the world cases take years to come to trial. Often the argument is that related investigations are under-way. That's clearly not the Commission's view.

It's refreshing.