Crime & Courts

Malaysian job scam victim recounts harrowing ordeal in Myanmar

KUALA LUMPUR: Beaten with a stick, face repeatedly punched and forced to do 200 push-ups on the threat of a 'fine'.

These are among the abuses a victim of a job scam syndicate in Myanmar had to endure before being rescued.

The victim, Anthony (not his real name), 26, who initially saw the job offer promising a monthly salary of up to RM10,000 on Facebook, shared his harrowing experience that began on March 25 last year.

Having lost his job as a restaurant waiter due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Anthony responded to a job ad for a position as a gold dealer abroad.

He underwent an online interview and later met someone at a shopping centre in Puchong, he said at a media briefing at the Seputeh Parliamentary Service Center.

Last Friday, 121 Malaysians stranded in Laukkaing, northern Myanmar, due to unrest in the region, were successfully brought home through an evacuation mission.

Anthony revealed that he was deceived into working for a syndicate involved in "love scams" targeting US citizens.

He was forced into a series of abusive situations and eventually sold to another scam syndicate in northern Myanmar.

After almost a year of mistreatment, he managed to escape during internal conflict in Laukkaing but was captured by Myanmar authorities and held captive with over 100 other detainees.

Anthony's sister, Serena, expressed gratitude to the government, the Malaysian consulates in Yunnan (China) and Yangon (Myanmar), and Teresa Kok, Seputeh lawmaker, for their assistance in bringing her brother and other victims back home.

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