Foreign Ministry: 401 Malaysian job scam victims rescued

KUALA LUMPUR: The Foreign Ministry has received 564 reports of Malaysians being victims of job scam syndicates abroad as of Monday (Feb 13).

It said from the reports received from the Malaysian embassies in Bangkok (Thailand), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Vientiane (Laos) and Yangon (Myanmar), 401 Malaysians had been rescued, with 377 sent home.

"The remaining 24 individuals are currently being held in detention depots pending deportation, while another 163 people are still being tracked down," the ministry said in a written reply on Parliament's website today (Feb 15).

It was a reply to a question by Oscar Ling Chai Yew (PH-Sibu), who wanted to know why a special task force was not formed to negotiate with the Cambodian government in an effort to rescue Malaysians cheated or abducted by job scam syndicates there.

The ministry went on to clarify that a task force, headed by the ministry and joined by several other relevant agencies, had been formed to deal with the issue in an integrated and comprehensive manner.

It is an ongoing efforts between the ministry in collaboration with Malaysian representatives abroad and the police which began in the first quarter of last year.

It said the ministry and the police had never encouraged victims' families to pay ransoms or seek the services of private parties, non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

"Family members are urged to report to the police, and to refer to the Foreign Ministry, if their next-of-kin have been identified as victims of such syndicates.

"Individuals who receive job offers abroad are encouraged to check first with the Foreign Ministry, Malaysian representatives, or the (Malaysian) embassy in that country if they are worried or have doubt about the offer they have received." -- Bernama

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