PETALING JAYA: Several young Malaysians have fallen victim to a human trafficking syndicate after being lured by telemarketing and customer service job offers in Cambodia and the promise of a lucrative salary.
Victims were approached personally through social media contacts or advertisements. Once in Cambodia, they were forced to phone unsuspecting victims from their respective countries.
Some of the victims are physically abused if they don’t perform, and men with guns guard the building in which they are held captive.
The head of the MCA’s public services and complaints department, Datuk Seri Michael Chong, said some of the victims, including girls, were underage and as young as 17.
However, he said no cases of sexual abuse have been reported so far.
“If you are a Malaysian, you will be given a laptop to cheat Malaysians and if you don’t do well and can’t scam anyone, you will be beaten,” he told a conference release Wednesday, March 30. .
Some victims, Chong said, were taken through illegal routes while others entered the country with proper documents.
He added that some of these victims had left for the country without the knowledge of their parents.
“I have already received more than 10 cases asking for my help but only two have been rescued. These two (victims) are in the immigration detention center because they overstayed their stay and went there without proper papers,” he said.
“The union members are Malaysians, recruiting them either through social media or through friends,” he said.
A mother, known only as Wong, said her 24-year-old son told her he was traveling to Penang for hotel work. However, a few days after arriving in Cambodia, he revealed the truth to her.
‘He said he drove there in a completely tinted black car and couldn’t see out the whole way,’ she said, adding that no stops were made. had been carried out until their arrival in Cambodia.
“He was so scared and said the building was locked and the entrance was guarded by armed men and there was no way out of the building.”
She said her son received a referral for the job from a friend younger than him. She said that while he was not abused for not making “sales”, his salary was deducted and he was “sold” to another company.
Another father, who wanted to be known only as Ng, said his 18-year-old son was taken into the country through an illegal route (lorong tikus).
Chong said he was working closely with police to help victims.
“Here I have 10 victims who managed to call me. I think there are at least 100 victims,” he said, adding that he first received the message there. about two months old.
The press was also able to see voice messages, videos and text messages from victims. One victim said there were around 50 Malaysians held captive in the same premises as him.
Chong said Malaysian police work with Interpol and can only help those who have filed a report.
“Some victims or their families who are unaware of the situation have not filed a complaint.”
He urged victims able to flee to go to the nearest Malaysian embassy or business in Cambodia to seek help.
Chong said he also wrote to Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah on March 3 asking for his help in rescuing those who have fallen prey to the syndicate.
He has not yet received a response.
“I want young boys and girls to be extremely careful when responding to job offers. They will promise you a very high salary, but once you answer them, you will be in trouble, especially those with overseas positions,” he said.
Chong advised job seekers to consult family and friends before accepting offers, as the union will ask them not to disclose details to relatives.
He fears that the unions will no longer be active once the borders reopen.
The star has contacted Wisma Putra for comment.