JOHOR BAHRU: Their movements were not only monitored but controlled 24 hours a day for seven Malaysians, including a woman, all aged between 18 and 34, from Johor. The employment seekers fell victim to a job scam syndicate in Cambodia.
One of the victims, who wanted to be known as Wan, 34, said once they arrived in Cambodia, they were placed for five months in what was believed to be the syndicate’s operations centre, a hotel in Sok, Phnom Penh.
He said that before leaving for Cambodia, they were offered jobs by a local agent at a casino with a lucrative salary of as much as US$1,100 a month. However, upon arrival they were forced to work as scammers for a cryptocurrency operation masterminded by a Taiwanese.
“We were attracted to the salary, and were offered a job as servers at a casino but when we arrived there, we were told to work as scammers.
“If we refused to sign the contract (as scammers) for six months, we were asked to pay RM15,000 per person to return home, so we were forced to sign the contract,“ he said at a press conference held at the Larkin State Legislative Assembly representative’s service centre, here, today.
Wan, from Kampung Melayu Paloh, Kluang said for the five months in Cambodia, they were not paid their salaries. However, they were not harmed by the syndicate.
“However, some previous victims had said that they were beaten and had guns pointed at them…so for the duration there, we did not protest but followed whatever instructions given,“ he recalled.
According to Wan, he and six others had been planning for a month to escape before contacting the Malaysian International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO) for help and managed to flee from the syndicate’s clutches by giving an excuse of wanting to go out to the hairdresser.
Meanwhile, another victim who wanted to be known only as Hawa, 30, took the job offer in Cambodia as she wanted to save money for her wedding.
“My fiance and I accepted the offer, but were surprised when we were informed that we would be doing work that was not related to the original offer. Victims of the fraud are not only Malaysians, but also from India, China and Indonesia,“ said Hawa, who is from Skudai.
Also present at the press conference was Johor Youth, Sports, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperatives and Human Resource Committee chairman, Mohd Hairi Mad Shah.
He said the state government would bear the cost of bringing home the seven victims and this included accommodation, flight tickets and meals amounting to about RM15,000, and would help the victims find new jobs as there were 19,000 job vacancies in various sectors in the state. – Bernama
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