Sunday, August 7, 2022

Over 60 Malaysians in Cambodia waiting to be rescued

Secara Rawak

BANGKOK: The Malaysian embassy in Cambodia has rescued 46 Malaysians who were said to have been duped into taking up “lucrative job offers overseas”, according to its ambassador Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim.

“To date, there are still more than 60 cases of Malaysians who are waiting to be rescued. We are working closely with the Cambodian authorities to help them return home,” he told.

According to Bernama,In 2018, the embassy assisted 47 Malaysians who were caught in a similar predicament. No cases were reported in 2020 and 2021 following the closure of borders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most recent case involved four Malaysians who were allegedly duped by syndicates that offered high-paying jobs in Cambodia. The four men, aged 29 to 41, returned home safely yesterday.

The syndicates attracted victims via social networking sites such as Facebook, with offers of high-paying jobs overseas. However, when they arrived in Cambodia, they were forced to be part of a tele-marketing scam targeting people around the world.

Those who fell prey to the scam realised they had been deceived but they were not allowed to return to Malaysia. Subsequently, their families were forced to pay a ransom for their release.

Meanwhile, Eldeen urged Malaysians to be wary of recruitment ads for jobs that promise a lucrative salary overseas.

“Check with the relevant authorities including the embassy to validate the job offers. Do inform your parents and relatives in Malaysia if you receive such offers. They might give you a valuable second opinion on whether the job offer is a scam,” he said.

Eldeen also expressed appreciation to the Cambodian authorities for the close cooperation given to help Malaysians who fell victim to job scams in the kingdom.

He said initial investigations found many Malaysians were stranded in Cambodia after being duped by job syndicates.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities to help them return home. However, the process in handling the cases takes time,” he said.

For example, he said it would take time for the relevant authorities to verify the victims’ identity as most of them entered the kingdom illegally and without proper travel documents.

“For people who break the law (immigration offences), they will be prosecuted and may have to serve jail terms here before they can return home,” he added.

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