‘Victims’ who are scammers

NOT all Malaysians rescued from job scams overseas are real “victims”, as some had gone abroad to work as scammers themselves and got stranded there, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Although many people had been genuinely victimised by job syndicates, the Home Minister stated that some people wanted to be a part of such rackets overseas.

Saifuddin said the police had identified 339 scam victims in countries such as Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates and had profiled them into four groups.

“From the figure, a total of 218 of them have been rescued while another 121 are still stranded.

“As we speak, a police team is now in Thailand on a mission to rescue the victims there,” he told the Dewan Rakyat.

The minister said under the first group, there are those who willingly left the country with the intention of becoming scammers.

“They have become successful because they pulled off love and cryptocurrency scams and reached their targeted KPI,” he said in response to a follow-up question from Sim Tze Tzin (PH-Bayan Baru) about what the government is doing to stop middlemen who are part of job scam gangs.

“When they reached the targeted KPI, they don’t want to come back. I am being honest in confirming this.

“However, there are those who have failed to reach the KPI, so they contact the police to rescue them, claiming that they have become victims,” he said.

The second group comprised “victims” who had previously been rescued.

“The police were taken aback when they found out that there are those who have asked to be rescued again. I am not making this up,” Saifuddin said.

The third group involved those who went overseas to gamble and then ran into difficulties when they borrowed money from loan sharks.

“When they failed to pay back the money, they would then call the police to save them.

“The police would still rescue them as Malaysia strictly adhered to the ‘right to return’ principle,” he said.

The minister said the fourth group is those who went overseas as they were genuinely attracted by the job offers, only to find out later that they were cheated.

Later, at a press conference, Saifuddin denied a recent viral video depicting Malaysian job scam victims abroad being beaten.

“Police have verified that the video does not involve Malaysians,” he said.

He also said there had been no deaths reported with regard to Malaysians who were victims of job scams abroad.

On another matter, Saifuddin said the government is mulling over whether to introduce a new federal cyber crime law, which is expected to be tabled in July.

He admitted that cyber crimes are getting more complex, sophisticated and dynamic, and that the elements under the existing laws are not up-to-date.

“If everything goes as planned, a new Act will be tabled in the July sitting related to the government’s efforts in dealing with cyber security threats,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru) during Question Time.

Takiyudidn had asked the government to state its efforts in dealing with cyber security threats and data leaks that could lead to activities related to job scams.

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