KUCHING, Dec 17 — Seven of the eight Malaysians who fell victim to a job fraud criminal syndicate in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and were brought home yesterday were Sarawakians, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Fadillah, who is also Petra Jaya MP, said all the victims were tricked by the offer of a lucrative salary of US$1,000 or about RM4,480 per month and were instead forced to work for an online gambling company there.

“They accepted the offer through the Telegram app which did not specify the nature of work they would do there. They were in Dubai since arriving last month and managed to escape on Nov 30 and asked for help from patrolmen who happened to run into them,” he said at a press conference here today.

Fadillah expressed his appreciation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Consulate-General of Malaysia (KJM) in Dubai which jointly dealt with the issue.


He also explained that Sarawak Volunteers (an NGO linking Sarawakian students) covered the cost of the return flight tickets for seven Sarawakians and another from Kelantan who were victims of the syndicate.

The seven Sarawakians involved are Muhammad Adha Awang Azahari, 23; Mohamad Azam Abdullah, 23; Mohd Izzul Hydad Suhardi, 24; Syed Azwan Wan Abdul Karim, 20; Muhammad Azzaruddin Shah Azmannuddin, 20; Ainul Alif Sait, 28 and Ashraf Salehin Hazmi, 24.

One of them, Syed Azwan said they boarded separate flights on Aug 24, 25 and 26 and began feeling uneasy when their passports and mobile phones were confiscated by members of the syndicate before they were locked up in a house.


“While we were there, we were only fed bread and hard-boiled eggs at noon and sometimes plain rice and chicken at night,” he recalled.

Syed Azwan said they were forced to work from 6am to 1am and had their mobile phones confiscated after the end of working hours.

Meanwhile, Fadillah urged all Malaysians to be careful in accepting any job offer that promised a salary that was too good to be true.

“Firstly, check with the authorities about the validity of a job offer and ask them to investigate. I hope Malaysians are the wiser from this case,” he said.

Yesterday, MoFA in a statement said that the case was handed over to the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) for further investigations.

MoFA said the KJM in Dubai had taken immediate action to rescue the victims after receiving information on the matter. — Bernama