7:24pm 16/05/2022
Not all are unaware they are working for scammers in Cambodia, says Malaysian envoy

PHNOM PENH: There are Malaysians who are aware they are working for syndicates operating scam call centers in Cambodia, says Ambassador of Malaysia to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim.

Malaysians who have been rescued by the Embassy of Malaysia in Cambodia are divided into three categories – those who were duped by syndicate into working overseas; those unaware of the nature of their jobs in Cambodia but willing to enter the country illegally; and people who are aware that they are going to work for illegal online gaming syndicate in Cambodia.

In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, Eldeen Husaini said the first category of Malaysians was duped by the high salaries offered by the syndicates and they came to Cambodia with proper travel documents.

The second category of Malaysians entered Cambodia illegally via Thailand. They had no idea of the nature of work they would be doing in Cambodia, he said.

“This group of Malaysians would be arranged to operate online gaming. After some time, they wanted to go home as they did not like the job. They would then be confined and beaten up.”

They are not considered victims of job scams, he said.

For the third group, Eldeen Husaini said these Malaysians were aware that they would be working for illegal online gaming syndicates.

They encountered problems after failing to meet the performance targets set by the syndicates or starting to lose money in online gaming.

Eldeen Husaini said Malaysians who were aware of the actual situation were in the minority.

The Embassy of Malaysia in Cambodia also handled cases of Malaysians rejected by the syndicates and sent them to the embassy, he said.

Based on his observation, Eldeen Husaini said the syndicates targeted Malaysians from broken families, without sound academic qualifications and were unemployed, some being drug addicts.

To someone without any income, a job offering US$1,000 to $2,000 without academic qualifications and work experience just sounds too good to be true.

The agents who made arrangements for them to leave Malaysia and work in Cambodia are Malaysians, and one way of stopping more people from being duped would be nabbing these agents.

Eldeen Husaini said the governments of Malaysia and Cambodia would continue to work together to rescue the Malaysian victims.

“We do not have the list. We urged the Malaysian victims to come forward during a raid. Some said they liked it there and did not want to leave.

“When the enforcement officers insisted that all Malaysians leave the syndicates, their said they did not want to be rescued.”

Another anonymous source said some even burned their passports when the syndicates were raided in order to destroy the evidence of them entering Cambodia.

Before the 16 Malaysians were rescued, Eldeen Husaini said the embassy had carried out a low-profile operation to rescue the victims for fear any media coverage would hamper the operation.

“Media coverage is good. But when the syndicates realize that they are being monitored by the enforcers, they would stop operation and relocate elsewhere, making the rescue operation even more difficult.

“The Cambodian authorities are quick in taking action. They launch rescue operation once they detect a new location,” he said.


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