Cops identify Sarawakian involved in scamming 47 Malaysians to work in Cambodia

Some family members welcoming the ex-detainees upon arrival at the Kuching International Airport from Cambodia, February 17 2019. — Picture courtesy of Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak (UKAS)
Some family members welcoming the ex-detainees upon arrival at the Kuching International Airport from Cambodia, February 17 2019. — Picture courtesy of Unit Komunikasi Awam Sarawak (UKAS)

KUCHING, Feb 19 — Police have identified a Sarawakian man suspected to be involved in a syndicate that conned 47 Malaysians to work in Cambodia only to be arrested and jailed.

Sarawak commercial crimes investigation department head Superintendent Mustafa Kamal Gani Abdullah said today his officers are looking for the man after reports were lodged by eight of the victims as of today.

The 47 victims, including 40 from Sarawak, returned home on Sunday after the state government and the Malaysian Embassy successfully negotiated for their release with the Cambodian government.

The Malaysians were arrested on December 11 last year following a raid by the Cambodian police on two houses used as premises for operating illegal online gambling.

They were then detained in a provincial prison until they were released on February 15.

Mustafa said the eight victims, who lodged the reports yesterday and today, had claimed that each of them paid US$200 to US$300 (RM816 to RM1,224) as processing fees to the bank account belonging to the suspect.

Mustafa said the victims were promised a salary of between US$1,200 and US$1,500 (RM4,898 to RM6,122) to work in hotels in Cambodia.

“The victims knew about the fake job offers through Facebook and WeChat,” he said in a statement this evening.

He said once they arrived in a house in Cambodia, they were asked to surrender their handphones and passports to the men who guarded and controlled them.

“Based on the information received from the eight victims, they were asked to follow scripts and act as bank officers and answer telephone calls as part of the modus operandi used by Macau scam,” he said.

Mustafa said the victims were also ordered to promote online gambling through telephone calls and short messaging service to the telephone numbers.