Woman sends last messages before alleged human trafficking ordeal at Thailand-Myanmar border

PETALING JAYA: "Please save me, take me home." Those were the last messages from a woman to her younger brother after allegedly becoming a victim of the human trafficking syndicate 'KK Garden' in the Myawaddy area, at the Thailand-Myanmar border.

The 35-year-old woman is believed to have been confined in a small room with 10 other victims. The woman had to pay compensation of RM50,000, or find two other victims as replacements if she wanted to be released.

Recounting the incident, a man who wished to be known as Leong, 29, said his sister met a man on Facebook before being offered a job in Singapore.

According to Leong, his sister quit her job in Seremban last September. He added that his sister was offered a job in Singapore with a promised monthly salary of S$3,000 (about RM10,000).

On March 1, the woman took a flight to Singapore before taking another flight to Bangkok. She was later taken to Myanmar in a car.

Leong said his family had no idea that her sister was going to Myanmar.

"She told us she was going to Singapore. I only found out after receiving a call from her asking for help on March 5," Leong said at a press conference today.

Also present were deputy chief of the Segambut justice branch, Deric Teh, and public relations officer of the Malaysian Humanitarian Organisation (MHO), Daniel Khoo.

Leong claimed to have received a call from a man demanding a ransom of RM50,000 to free his sister.

"He gave me three hours to deposit the money, but I didn't have that much. A few days later, he contacted me again and asked me to pay RM20,000," he said.

Following this, he proceeded to make a police report and sought assistance from MHO out of fear for his sister's safety.

Khoo said they will seek assistance from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Myanmar to locate and rescue the victims believed to still be in Myawaddy.

He added that the effort will take time because the area in question is not under the administration of the Myanmar Federal Government.

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