BANGKOK: The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh has, so far this year, rescued 46 Malaysians in Cambodia believed to have been duped by lucrative job offers overseas.
“To date, there are more than 60 cases (of Malaysians allegedly falling prey to job scams) pending further action. We are working closely with the Cambodian authorities in facilitating their return home,” Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim, Malaysia’s ambassador to Cambodia told Bernama.
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In 2018, the embassy facilitated 47 Malaysians in similar predicament while no cases were reported in 2020 and 2021 following the closure of borders during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The most recent involved four Malaysians who were allegedly duped by syndicates that offered high-paying jobs in Cambodia.
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The four, aged between 29 and 41 years old, managed to return home and arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Saturday (July 9).
The syndicate’s modus operandi was to offer victims high paying jobs overseas via social networking sites such as Facebook. However, when they arrived in the kingdom, they were forced to make telephone calls to con prospective victims around the world.
Those who fell prey to the scam realised they had been deceived but they were not allowed to return to Malaysia and their families were forced to pay a ransom for their release.
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Meanwhile, Eldeen urged Malaysians to be watchful of job recruitment advertisements promising lucrative pay overseas.
“Check with relevant authorities including the embassy to validate the job offers. Do inform your parents and relatives in Malaysia if you receive such offers. They might give you a valuable second opinion on whether the job offer is a scam,” he said.
Eldeen also expressed appreciation to the Cambodian authorities and the close cooperation given to help Malaysians who fell victims to job scams in the kingdom.
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He said initial investigations found many Malaysians remained stranded in the kingdom after being duped by job syndicates.
“We are working closely with the relevant authorities to help them return home. However, the process in handling the cases differs and takes time,” he said.
For example, he said it would take time for relevant authorities to verify victims’ identities as most of them entered the kingdom illegally and without travel documents.
“For people who break the law (immigration offences), they will be prosecuted and may have to serve jail terms here before they can return home,” he said. – Bernama