The fleeing of a certain "Datuk Seri" involved in Macau scam and triad activities has been in the headline for the past few days.
Datuk Seri Nicky Liow Soon Hee, 33, has had a pretty illustrious career for one so young but as the saying goes "sepandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah juga".
The beginning of his downfall? A RM1,500 phone. Intriguing, isn't it?
So, who is this Datuk Seri Nicky Liow, and why is he a person of interest all of a sudden? Let us explain:
Who is Datuk Seri Nicky Liow?
The YouTube video above should tell you all you need to know about the man. At least, according to whoever was paid to make that.
Liow was a businessman and philanthropist who hid behind legal (but still kinda dodgy) companies under Winner Dynasty Group Sdn Bhd.
While the parent company is supposed to be an "investment management company", it is believed that the group also deals with many products and services such as education, property, health, tourism, jewelry and even cryptocurrency.
Liow seem to have several won awards, including the Brandlaureate awards for his businesses and claims to be a Bitcoin billionaire
His money sure had won him a spot among the famous and influential. It is unclear how strong his bonds are with the figures he is seen to be have photographed with (we suspect not all that strong), but it does seem like he never misses a photo op.
Liow's picture with Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob seem to have been taken when the former donated a total of 11 million face masks to media practitioners, front liners and state governments at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic.
His contribution even got him a spot in the Malaysian Book of Records. Humble and sincere, this man doesn't seem to be.
If you feel like you've seen his pictures before and wondering if it's because of all his "good" work, you're probably mistaken. Not because he doesn't shout about his charitable work, but rather because most of them aren't exactly shared on mainstream media.
One news about him did, however, become the talk of the town a few years back.
In 2017, Liow assaulted several RELA members
for daring to ask him to move his car that was blocking others.
He was already a Datuk Seri by that time and people started questioning what the then 27-year-old had done to receive the title.
That was by no means his only criminal record. The police have revealed that he has 12 prior cases for criminal intimidation, causing hurt and drug-related offences.
If you look at Liow's Facebook page
, it is evident that he loves luxury, partying and even guns. We found two accounts
with his name and pictures.
The older one that dates back to 2013 has dozens of pictures that give an idea of what he possibly is as a person.
Why is he being hunted by the police?
Considering that Liow seem to love flaunting his wealth, it's not impossible that he was already on the radar of the authorities.
But why the manhunt? Well, turns out Liow's "investment management company" was actually scamming people and when it got busted, he made a run for it.
It's interesting to note that Liow's downfall started with a RM1,500 phone.
According to The Star
, the Macau scam ringleader's downfall came with the investigation of Johor police into a bogus sale of a phone.
Apparently, the money from the "sale" of the phone went to a "mule account" owned by Liow's company, which led to a full-blown investigation.
The Macau scam syndicate allegedly run their scam from 48 apartment units in Puchong. 118 people, including Liow's two brothers, were arrested between 20 and 28 March in a sting operation called Pelican 3.0.
Both Liow's brothers are also Datuks, and there were at least four others holding similar titles in the list of people arrested.
According to Harian Metro
, 48 people were arrested under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma). The number includes both Malaysian and China citizens.
Twelve others were arrested for immigration offences, while fifty locals were documented and released.
During the raids, the police confiscated cash in multiple currencies worth RM773,145, as well as 16 luxury cars worth RM6.67 million.
The police also froze bank accounts that had RM4.05 million in it, and seized cars owned by 21 individuals and 16 entities including Liow's charity arms worth RM8.86 million.
According to another report by The Star
, Liow also had a personal bank account with over RM40 million in it.
Besides the Macau Scam, Liow is also wanted for illegal money lending, money laundering and other crimes.
Links to triads
Liow's gang may have been running Macau scams since 2016, at least. He is believed to have ties with several triads, including a close relationship with the former Macau triad boss Wan Kouk Koi, or more infamously known as "Broken Tooth".
According to this report
, Broken Tooth was wanted in Malaysia after he failed to pay RM6 million in shares from Bursa-listed computer software company Inix Technologies to a third party as promised.
The notorious triad boss, who was the head of 14K triad, was arrested in 1999 for illegal gambling, loan shark activities, criminal association, and attempted car-bombing of a police chief.
He was in jail for 15 years but continued with his illegal activities till he was arrested again in Netherlands in January for drug-related offences.
Two years before his arrest, "Broken Tooth" started an association called World Hongmen History and Culture Association in Cambodia, claiming to help Chinese living abroad learn their culture.
However, the association was blacklisted in the United States for involvement in criminal activities. Liow was appointed associate vice-president in 2019.
Besides "Broken Tooth", Liow is also believed to have had connections with other local triads.
Paid people to stay under the radar
How does someone escape the eyes of the authorities for so long?
suggests that Liow paid "top dollars" to people in different enforcement and government agencies, including a deputy public prosecutor, to know if and when his organisation comes under the radar of the police, Bank Negara or the Inland Revenue Board for money laundering or tax evasion.
It is believed that having insiders on his payroll is also how he managed to escape the recent crackdown on his businesses.
On the run with bags of money
The authorities may have frozen Liow's bank accounts and seized his assets, but he is not without resources.
A news report
shows that Liow made a run for it with eight bags of cash but with his brothers arrested, he may not have the allies needed to stay hidden for long.
He is wanted by the authorities, and as such all border checkpoints, jetties, ports and airports are on high alert.
Liow is believed to be in the country still so if you have any information, you can contact Asst Supt Prakash Valiappan at 012-5209 767
or the nearest police station.