March 31, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – The promise of lucrative, high-paying jobs in “telemarketing” and customer services in Cambodia has led several young Malaysians to fall prey to human trafficking syndicates, said the head of the public services department and of MCA complaints, Datuk Seri Michael Chong.

Unions, which lure victims through personal contacts or social media advertisements, will confine these victims to buildings once they are in Cambodia.

There they will be forced to make calls, sometimes up to 15 hours a day, to scam people in their respective countries.

Some of the victims are also physically abused, some as young as 17, including girls.

“If you are a Malaysian you will be given a laptop to cheat Malaysians and if you fail to scam anyone you will be beaten,” he told a press conference here yesterday .

Some victims, Chong said, were taken through illegal routes while others entered the country with proper documents.

He added that some of these victims had left for the country without the knowledge of their parents.

“I have already received more than 10 cases, asking for my help, but only two have been rescued. These two (victims) are in the Immigration Detention Center because they were overstayed and s went there without proper papers,” he said.

A mother known only as Wong said her 24-year-old son told her he was traveling to Penang for hotel work. However, a few days after arriving in Cambodia, he revealed the truth to her.

“He said he drove there in a fully (tinted) car and couldn’t see outside the whole way,” she said, adding that No stops had been made until they arrived in Cambodia.

“He was so scared and said the building was locked, the entrance was guarded by armed men and there was no way out of the building,” she added.

She said her son received a referral for work from a friend.

She said that while he was not abused for not making “sales”, his salary was deducted and he was “sold” to another company.

Chong said he was working closely with police to help victims.

“Here I have 10 (victims) who managed to call me. I think there are at least 100 (victims),” he said, adding that he received the first message there. about two months old.

The press also received voicemails, videos and text messages from victims, with one claiming around 50 Malaysians were being held in the same facility as him.

Malaysian police work with Interpol and can only help those who have filed a complaint, Chong said.

Chong added that some victims or their families who are unaware of the real situation have not filed a complaint, and urged victims who manage to escape to go to the Malaysian embassy or society. closest in Cambodia to ask for help.

He said he also wrote to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah earlier this month asking for his help, although he has yet to receive a response.

When contacted, Wisma Putra said he was monitoring the situation through his embassy and was gathering more information, adding that further updates would be given in due course. .