PETALING JAYA: After rescuing 46 Malaysians from syndicates allegedly involved in job scams, another 60 Malaysians are believed to have been trapped by the syndicates in Cambodia.
Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim said as more Malaysians were being rescued, the syndicates started to send fake locations of Malaysians to their families in a move to hamper rescue operations.
In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, Eldeen Husaini said embassy officials and the Cambodian police launched rescue mission based on the information provided by the victims’ families but the locations were found to be wrong, prompting the Cambodian police and the Embassy of Malaysia to suspect it was the syndicate’s tactic of using victims’ phones to send inaccurate locations to the authorities.
The Embassy of Malaysia had requested families to provide the location of trapped Malaysians, names of the building, names and identity card numbers of the Malaysians in order to locate them.
“We have received information provided by the families and handed over the information to the police immediately but are not successful in rescuing anyone on few occasions,” he said.
Apart from those trapped Malaysians being ‘sold off’ to another syndicate or relocated, Eldeen Husaini does not rule out the possibility of syndicate using the Malaysians’ handphones to send inaccurate locations to their families.
This is unlike those rescue actions shown in movies where enforcement team with weapons storm into a building in a rescue mission, as the trapped Malaysians are kept in different locations, he said.
As the Embassy of Malaysia is working with the Cambodian police to rescue some Malaysians, the number of trapped victims seeking help has since reduced to 50, he said, adding that the number increased recently.
“A total of 46 Malaysians have been rescued so far. The embassy will try its best to rescue the victims,” he said.
Four Malaysians who had been duped by lucrative job offers to work in Cambodia returned to Malaysia last Saturday.
They were earlier rescued from several locations in Sihanoukville and spent two months at the immigration detention centre.
“The passports of these Malaysians were held by their employers. The embassy had to retrieve their passports through the Cambodian police.
“The embassy has tried its best to help them leave Cambodia as soon as possible. It is most fortunate that their passports are recovered where the procedures involved in sending them home have been simplified. Otherwise, it will take longer time for them to return home,” he said.
Based on the investigation carried out by the Embassy of Malaysia, majority of Malaysians who have been duped by fake job offers entered Cambodia without travel documents.
Those who have been rescued by the authorities are required to serve the sentence for violating immigration laws in Cambodia before they can leave the country.
“We are working with the authorities to rescue the trapped Malaysians but the procedure for each case is different. We need time,” he said.