Job scam: Only 30 have returned so far, 84 still missing, says Michael Chong

KUALA LUMPUR: Only 30 out of 114 human trafficking cases due to fake job scams reported to MCA have been able to return to Malaysia, says Datuk Seri Michael Chong.

The MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head said of the cases, 54 were reportedly trafficked to Cambodia, 29 were in Myanmar and 11 were trafficked to Laos among others.

Some 76 police reports have been made by the victim's families, he added.

Chong told the media on Thursday (Aug 11) that the traffickers asked for a ransom of RM80,000 to RM100,000 to release their family members.

"While several victims managed to return after paying the ransom, others were still stuck in overseas."

He said that one victim had been detained for over three years and had been sold to different syndicates four times and was currently in Laos.

"We all at MCA feel very sad because despite our warnings and efforts to educate the public against seeking jobs overseas along with the police, NGOs, and opposition parties, this is still happening.

"They even lied to their families to work there but when they arrived there, they could not get out and had to pay a ransom.

"Now they are not only targeting Chinese but also Malays," Chong said.

Also present at the media conference were four women whose family members had fallen prey to a fake job agency that resulted in them being trafficked.

Yap, 48, lost her 26-years-old nephew three years ago after he travelled to Laos in search for work but he has been conned and is currently working as a phone call scammer.

Chong said he has to work over 12 hours per day and an additional two hours if he fails to meet his target.

He would also be beaten if he failed to reach his target.

For him to return, his family has to pay a RM113,000 ransom.

Azlinda, 50, from Johor Baru sent her son off to Dubai for a customer service role after hearing about it from an acquaintance on April 2.

"After three weeks in Dubai, my son told me the company went bankrupt and they were sent to Cambodia.

"When in transit in Singapore, two of his friends managed to run away but he failed.

"He's working as a scammer with six others. One of them is a Malay girl from Kedah and five others are Chinese," she said.

She added that she was trying to get in contact with his acquaintance, a local man who offered his 22-year-old son the job but it was to no avail.

Tiong, 48, said she had told her son not to accept a job offer in Cambodia.

Unfortunately, she thinks he went anyway as he disappeared after going on holiday to Taiwan last Wednesday (Aug 3).

Meanwhile, Chong, 27, received a message from her 35-year-old welder husband three days ago to ask for help from the embassy to save him in Cambodia. He left the country just two weeks ago.

"Please lodge a police report if your family members are victims because the police will take action real soon," Chong said.

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