Nine in 10 Malaysians claiming to be human trafficking victims are actually criminals, says Wisma Putra

  • Nation
  • Monday, 01 Jul 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: About 90% of Malaysians who claim they are victims of human trafficking are in truth involved in international fraud syndicates, says Datuk Mohamad Alamin.

The Deputy Foreign Minister said this was revealed by the police in their human trafficking report presented at the Council for Anti-Trafficking In Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants meeting on Feb 26.

He said the purported victims often held high-ranking positions in companies and some even went to work voluntarily in the (respective) countries.

"So it's generally not a job scam – they are criminals involved in fraud syndicates. When they face issues such as abuse from employers or are not allowed to return home, they claim they have been deceived.

"But they were part of these job scam operations. This is the report we received from the police," Mohamad said during the Special Chamber session in Dewan Rakyat on Monday (July 1).

He said this in response to a supplementary question from Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) who asked about the government's efforts to address the issue of Malaysians being trafficked.

Khoo had suggested monitoring Malaysians who receive job offers abroad, increasing awareness campaigns on human trafficking issues and enhancing Asean cooperation to combat the problem.

Mohamad said observations indicate a decline in reports but acknowledged that some Malaysians are still working with these syndicates.

He said these syndicates recruit Malaysians through advertisements on social media and offer high salaries, free flights, accommodation and the freedom to gamble on credit.

"When they reach their destination, they work as scammers, conducting various online fraud operations including love scams, Macau scams or running online casinos," he said.

Mohamad said that as of June 10, the Foreign Ministry, in collaboration with the police and foreign authorities, had successfully rescued 659 Malaysians involved in job scams abroad.

"There are still 187 individuals being traced, bringing the total number of Malaysians involved to 846. This number is based on reports from relatives, family members, friends, the police and the individuals themselves," he said.

He said, reports claiming that around 2,000 Malaysians are still trapped abroad as victims of human trafficking are inconsistent with the number of reports received by the Foreign Ministry and therefore could not be confirmed.– Bernama

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