Human trafficking victim escapes by thinking ‘inside the box’

Compiled by C. ARUNO and BENJAMIN LEE

A MALAYSIAN job scam victim in Cambodia managed to escape his captors by hiding in a box, reported Sin Chew Daily.

“Jason”, who answered a job advertisement offering a RM12,000 salary in Cambodia, was flown there on May 6 after successfully undergoing four rounds of interviews.

But as soon as he arrived, he was given a two-day training on scamming. The trainees were taught how to conduct love and job scams to convince unsuspecting Malaysians to transfer money to them.

Uncomfortable with the nature of the work, Jason attempted to seek help from his family members but was punished for it.

“One morning, I contacted my family members via phone for help.

“However, just 30 minutes later, someone came into my hostel to give me a warning and dragged me into a locked room.

“For two days, I was given only one meal of white rice with gravy daily,” he said in an interview with PDRM RMP TV Channel, the official YouTube channel of the Royal Malaysia Police.

One of his colleagues took pity on Jason and provided him an escape plan.

“Early in the morning, he told me to hide inside a box which was meant to be shipped out. After that, he arranged for a car to send me to the airport,” he said.

Jason said he was lucky that an airline allowed him to board a plane back to Malaysia despite him not having a passport or any identification documents then.

He immediately made a police report upon his return.

“I hope young job seekers will be wary of jobs overseas offering lucrative salaries without needing much experience,” he said.

According to Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan, the police have received 182 reports involving 226 Malaysian victims of job scams between 2021 and March this year.

“These Malaysian victims were mostly trapped in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand,” he said.

So far, only 62 Malaysians have been rescued while 164 others continue to be held captive, he added.

“Before moving abroad for work, please get in touch with the Human Resources Ministry and the Foreign Ministry to find out whether the company (employing you) is a legal entity,” he said.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

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