KUCHING, Dec 6 — The government is called on to conduct an investigation into the involvement of an unknown Malaysian who deceived locals with job opportunities abroad recently, where they fall prey to a job scam.

George Lam, the special assistant to Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, said the Malaysian has committed a grave crime associated with human trafficking.

Expressing deep concern, he shared that he became aware of this issue through the harrowing experience of a Kuching resident identified as Jong, who fell victim to a job scam orchestrated by the unidentified Malaysian.

“Fortunately, Jong managed to return safely to his family. On Dec 1, he safely landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport along with 122 other Malaysian victims of job scams, all brought back through a special charter flight,” he told a press conference at the DAP headquarters here yesterday.

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Lam highlighted that Jong, a father of six, was searching for job opportunities online when he encountered a news article offering a monthly salary of RM68,000 in Thailand.

He then travelled to Thailand purportedly an interview visit, with the decision to commence work contingent on the outcome of the interview.

However, Lam revealed that in June this year, Jong’s wife sought assistance from DAP Sarawak, indicating that her husband had been flown to Chiang Mai, Thailand by a suspicious individual who picked him up at the airport.

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“During the journey, Jong said he sensed something amiss and alerted his wife in Kuching, prompting her to seek help to bring him back.

“The journey, orchestrated by the unknown Malaysian, took Jong to an undisclosed destination. Upon reaching Chiang Mai, Jong’s family managed to contact the Malaysian responsible for arranging the trip.

“The Malaysian initially demanded RM12,000 to release the victim, but the family couldn’t afford it. After two days, the amount increased to RM15,000.

“This figure seemed arbitrary, decided solely by the Malaysian’s mood. I advised the family not to transfer the money, and they followed my advice,” explained Lam.

He also revealed that in June and July, the victim reached out to his family, initially urging them to seek help and file a police report but subsequently he informed the family that he was safe and the ‘employer’ had promised to deposit a monthly salary into his wife’s account.

Allegedly under duress from the ‘employer’, the victim was coerced into sending these messages to create a false sense of security, even asking the family to withdraw the police report.

“Unfortunately, throughout this period, the family received only a paltry sum of RM1,500.

“In response, the DAP took swift action by filing a police report in June with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) to bring attention to the case. Simultaneously, an email was dispatched to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform the ministry about the situation.

“As of Nov 23, 2023, the victim informed the family that an ongoing conflict in North Myanmar had led the ‘employer’ to dissolve the company, resulting in the release of all victims,” said Lam.

In light of this development, Lam revealed that a new police report was filed to update authorities on the victim’s current location.

“Additionally, another report was lodged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, urging the Malaysian embassy in Myanmar and China to intervene and facilitate the rescue of victims caught in the job scam in North Myanmar.”

Lam thus strongly cautioned against believing any form of release, including sending money to alleged employers or agents, emphasising that it is a scam.

He urged families to promptly lodge a police report upon discovering that a loved one has fallen victim to a job scam.

Simultaneously, he recommended filing a report with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to enable authorities to assist in locating and repatriating victims.

“If you need help, feel free to approach DAP Sarawak,” Lam reassured, highlighting the party’s commitment to aiding victims of job scams and working towards their safe return to Malaysia. — Borneo Post Online