Victims living from one horror to the next

PETALING JAYA: Tortured, forced to do squats in the office, working 19 hours with no breaks and being threatened with a taser.

That is what one 23-year-old Malaysian, a victim of a job scam syndicate, faced in Cambodia.

He had gone to Cambodia on a six-month job contract with a company, but to his surprise, he was not allowed to leave once the gig ended.

This was revealed to The Star by a source living in Phnom Penh, who is a close family friend of the victim.

“Today, they threatened us to make us work for 19 hours a day and we are not allowed to smoke or eat when working – only after work are we allowed to eat,” read a message from the victim to the source last month.

Another message from the victim contained a video of the workers being forced to do squats in the office.

“Today, the big bosses are not here, I took the risk to take this video as this is not the first time.

“And now they also scare us by using an electric taser if we don’t proceed with the job that the company asks us to do,” read another message from the victim.

The source said the victim had asked him to help report his predicament to the Malaysian embassy in Cambodia, in hopes that he and his fellow victims could be rescued.

“I have been living in Cambodia for almost 10 years and have heard many stories about murders and organs being sold,” said the source, who also believes that many job scam victims were youths between the ages of 19 and 25.

“Concerned, I went to the embassy for help,” he said.

The embassy eventually informed him that they would be reporting the matter to the local police.

“I waited and waited, while at the same time the boy also tried to seek help from others and he reported to the Global Anti-Scam Organisation,” said the source.

On Aug 30, a raid was held by the police on the syndicate. The victims were hauled up and sent to the immigration detention centre in Sihanoukville, about 225km away from Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh.

The source said that currently, the victim was being held at the immigration depot together with other Malaysians.

He also claimed that there had been issues about the Malaysians getting access to proper food and a lack of communications with the embassy. He is urging the embassy to expedite their return home to reunite with their families.

The source also claimed that there had been a lack of updates from the embassy on their status.

“We don’t know how long they will be in detention. Everybody is in the dark. In situations like this, the embassy should act promptly and keep giving updates.

“These young people have families waiting for them to come home,” he said.

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job , scam , syndicate , Cambodia


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