Malaysians are among foreign nationals who have fallen victim to hiring scam syndicates operating from Cambodia. — Picture by Choo Choy May
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Sunday, 04 Sep 2022 10:27 AM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Putrajaya has rescued over a hundred Malaysians scammed into taking jobs in Cambodia since 2018 but some have refused to leave the country, The Sunday Star reported today.
Malaysians are among foreign nationals who have fallen victim to hiring scam syndicates operating from the Indochinese nation for years now, although the issue has caught public attention just recently.
According to Malaysian Ambassador Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim, those reluctant to be rescued or flown back to Malaysia are usually either runaways or victims hiding from loan sharks.
“We have rescued many but many also don’t want to go back to Malaysia. Some of them ran away from home, some run away from Ah Long.
“Sometimes they don’t want to tell their parents the truth. When the parents don’t know what to do they create their stories that their children got kidnapped and were forced to work.
“But when we rescue them they don’t want to go back,” he was quoted as saying.
Some of the victims of the job scams have reported horror stories of brutal treatment by their captors after being lured with lucrative salaries, several news outlets reported.
In one such incident, 16 Malaysians who fell for such offers and went to Cambodia claimed they were forced to join the syndicate without any salary and would be given electric shocks if they refused.
Eldeen said the Malaysian government has been working hard with the Cambodian authorities to crack down on these syndicates.
Still, the long rescue process has frustrated family members, whom Eldeen suggested often “take their grievances to MPs, state representatives and the press without grasping the situation.”
Immigration red tape was among the reasons cited for the slow time frame in flying rescued Malaysians back home.
Eldeen was quoted as saying that some of them travelled without proper documents, and are forced to serve sentences under Cambodian immigration laws before they can be brought back to Malaysia.
“But the embassy can plead for them to be deported instead of being sent to jail,” he was quoted saying.
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