KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 ― A total of 158 Malaysians who are victims of job scam syndicates are still stranded in foreign countries as of last month, the Dewan Negara was told today.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said they were part of the total 428 job scam victims reported before.

“As of November 20, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) successfully rescued 270 Malaysians who were trapped by these syndicates.

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“In total, there were 325 police reports received involving Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and other countries,” he said during the question-and-answer session.

He was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Teo Eng Tee, who wanted to know the comprehensive actions taken by the ministry to address the issue of online fraud cases with human trafficking elements perpetrated by forced labour syndicates operating abroad.

Shamsul Anuar said various efforts have been made, including integrated operations to tackle job scam syndicates abroad and rescue victims.

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“PDRM has carried out four series of integrated operations from August 2022 to July this year and busted four syndicates in the Klang Valley and Johor.

“Through these operations, 12 arrests were made involving local individuals, and investigations were conducted under Sections 12 and 14 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670),” he said.

He said other efforts include conducting engagement sessions with authorities from Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos to share information and resolution in the mission to rescue victims.

“We have also identified syndicates, especially agents operating in Malaysia, and conducted comprehensive investigations to facilitate prosecution.

“We are also working to increase public awareness of syndicate operations across various levels of society, including rural communities,” he said. ― Bernama