IPOH: The family of a disabled man here fears for his safety after he is believed to have fallen victim to scammers and forced to work in Cambodia.
The 22-year-old man identified as Ah Choong finally contacted them after being out of touch for over a month, according to his uncle, who asked to be known only as Ah Lee.
“My nephew has a learning disability and has an OKU card. His parents are divorced so he often called me for help.
“Back in March, I called him and he told me that he was in Kulim, Kedah to meet his girlfriend.
"When he didn’t return home after a week, I tried to call him but there was no response.
"It was not until five weeks later that I received a text message from him telling me that he has been sent to work overseas,” he told a press conference by Perak MCA Public Service and Complaints Bureau chief Low Gua Nan at state party headquarters here on Monday (May 9).
Ah Lee, 48, said a man claiming to be an agent for a company brought his nephew to Kuala Lumpur and lodged a lost passport report at the Dang Wang police headquarters in order to get a new one.
“My nephew had been scammed multiple times before this so I held on to his passport for safety purposes. The agent also hit him when he refused to hand over his bank card.
“Ah Choong told me that once they had his new passport, he was brought to KL International Airport and flown to Bangkok before taking a car ride to Cambodia,” he said, adding that his nephew was forced to work as a scammer there.
“During our phone conversations, he told me that his boss warned him that if he failed to work, he would be transferred to other places or worse, have his organs sold on the black market.
“Every day, he is given a list of people to call but he couldn’t explain the details to me due to his disabilities.
“As an uncle, I can’t be at peace knowing that my nephew is in danger. His boss told him that if he wants to return home, he must pay RMB70,000 (equivalent to RM45,955), which I can’t afford,” he said.
Low said Ah Choong had initially responded to a job vacancy advertisement on social media.
“Ah Choong can only use Facebook to contact his uncle as they have blocked his Whatsapp. He also has sent his current location as requested by the police.
“Upon checking, Ah Lee told us the area is deep in a rural area and his nephew told us that the area is heavily guarded.
“There are many Malaysians who were scammed by similar recruitment ads and are now working in Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar.
"Therefore we hope that related agencies such as the Anti-Migrant Smuggling Council (Mapo), Aseanpol and Interpol can rescue them as soon as possible,” Low said.