43 Malaysians were caught in a phone scam operation in Peru and rescued from human traffickers


The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Peruvian police found the 43 Malaysians after raiding a house in La Molina in the capital Lima on Oct 7. — AZHAR MAHFOF/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia said Oct 9 that 43 citizens have been rescued by police in Peru after they fell victim to a human trafficking syndicate operating a telecommunication fraud.

The Malaysians were involved in the so-called “Macau scam” that reportedly originates from crime syndicates in Taiwan and China, in which scammers impersonate banks or a public official to trick a person into disclosing their personal banking details or transfer money into a third-party account.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Peruvian police found the 43 Malaysians after raiding a house in La Molina in the capital Lima on Oct 7. It said the Malaysian Embassy in Lima had visited them and found them in good condition.

“All victims have also undergone an investigation process and will be repatriated to Malaysia” soon, it said. No further details were provided on how the Malaysians were ensnared by the syndicate or how they ended up in Peru.

Activists and government officials say hundreds of Malaysians have been lured by lucrative job offers in South-East Asian nations such as Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, only to end up being made to defraud online users with Internet romances and cryptocurrency schemes. – AP

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