Paying ransom no guarantee for release of human trafficking victims, says Chong

PETALING JAYA: Paying ransoms does not guarantee the return of human trafficking victims, says Datuk Seri Michael Chong.

The MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head, who met with the CID's Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Atipsom) unit (D3) in Bukit Aman on Friday (May 13), said that both parties were working together to create awareness.

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"CID deputy director (intelligence/operations) Deputy Comm Datuk Hussein Omar Khan confirmed that he had received numerous reports from the victim's families and from our side as well. Investigations are ongoing for those reports.

"He also advised the public to be wary of Facebook advertisements and that criminals would entice potential victims with the promise of large amounts of money," he said in a statement Saturday (May 14).

Chong added that the police advised victims and their families not to pay ransoms as there had been cases of victims still being held despite money paid.

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In April, 16 Malaysians, aged 19 to 43 years old, were rescued by the Cambodian National Police with the cooperation of the Royal Malaysia Police, Interpol, Aseanapol and the Foreign Ministry, after being held by a human trafficking syndicate in Cambodia.

Investigations showed that the victims were promised jobs as customer service representatives with high pay.

The victims were forced to work as scammers and only realised they had been duped after reaching the country.

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