Driver rams German party headquarters in apparent suicide bid

A damaged car is pictured inside the party headquarters of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) after it crashed into the building in Berlin, Germany, December 25, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 December 2017

Driver rams German party headquarters in apparent suicide bid

BERLIN: A man drove a car at the entrance of the Berlin headquarters of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) late on Sunday evening, lightly injuring himself in what police said was an apparent suicide attempt.
Police said the car, which crashed through the first set of glass doors of Willy Brandt House, the SPD’s headquarters, was laden with petrol canisters and gas cartridges. The building’s sprinkler system extinguished the resulting blaze.
Authorities did not identify the man, saying only that he was 58 years old. It was unclear why he had chosen the SPD, which is about to start negotiations on governing for another four years in coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, as his target.
The man was taken to hospital for treatment for superficial injuries. Nobody else was hurt. Police and state security services were investigating further.


Malaysia arrests 680 Chinese nationals during online scam syndicate bust

Updated 23 min 42 sec ago

Malaysia arrests 680 Chinese nationals during online scam syndicate bust

  • Immigration officers track escaped suspects, seize thousands of electronic devices after huge sting operation
  • Operators would send a code to certain websites in mandarin and scam their victims’ money through WeChat services and banks in China

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 680 Chinese nationals have been arrested and hundreds more are being tracked down after Malaysian immigration authorities busted an online scam syndicate.

Around 150 immigration officers on Wednesday launched an early morning raid on sixth-floor office premises in the town of Cyberjaya, in Selangor, as part of a carefully planned sting operation.

Immigration director general, Khairul Dzaimee Daud, told Arab News that investigations were still underway into the alleged scamming activities of the 603 men and 77 women, aged between 19 and 35, arrested during the bust.

The scam is believed to have targeted Chinese citizens by offering fast profits in return for investments through the popular social media platform WeChat Pay.

Working from the syndicate’s Cyberjaya base, operators would send a code to certain websites in mandarin and scam their victims’ money through WeChat services and banks in China.

Following tip-offs from members of the public, Malaysian authorities conducted a month-long surveillance of the building before mounting the raid during which officers seized thousands of items of electronic equipment, including 8,230 handphones, 787 computers and 174 laptops.

Daud said on Thursday that those arrested had violated Malaysia’s immigration laws by entering the country on social visit passes with some overstaying their visa time limits.

“All of the Chinese nationals could not produce their passports or travel documents after being arrested, and no representative could produce valid documents on behalf of them,” the immigration chief added.

A number of immigration officers required treatment for injuries after scuffles broke out during the bust, and up to 150 Chinese nationals are thought to have escaped from the building.

Aerial videos showing suspects jumping from windows and fleeing the building quickly went viral on social media.

“The immigration department will continue to be on the lookout for individuals involved in the scam activities and is working closely with the Malaysian central bank and the police,” added Daud.