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Report: Malaysians working as illegal labourers in S. Korea for RM2,000 a week

Mingguan Malaysia reported that agents would charge each Malaysian between RM3,000 and RM4,000 to be ‘smuggled’ into South Korea in groups of 20. — Reuters pic
Mingguan Malaysia reported that agents would charge each Malaysian between RM3,000 and RM4,000 to be ‘smuggled’ into South Korea in groups of 20. — Reuters pic

PETALING JAYA, Dec 31 — An increasing number of Malaysians are being recruited through Facebook to work illegally as labourers in South Korea, according to a Malay broadsheet.

Mingguan Malaysia, the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia, reported today that more citizens from as young as 16 to their 50s are being lured by recruiters on the popular social network with the prospect of earning up to RM2,000 a week.

Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper reported that these agents would charge each Malaysian between RM3,000 and RM4,000 to be “smuggled” into South Korea in groups of 20 where they would be taken to farms far from the capital city of Seoul and the reach of its enforcement authorities such as Hanam-si, Suwon, and Mugeok.

According to the source, the majority of illegal workers comprise Malaysians travelling abroad for the first time and are not concerned with visa rules.

“The second group are Malaysians who have worked illegally in Australian fruit or vegetable farms until they have been blacklisted by that country immigration,” the source was quoted saying.

The newspaper reported that recruitment activities have been stepped up since June this year and the agents even advertise such positions openly.

Using videos to display the potential high income one can earn in South Korea, the agents have until now remained undetected by the authorities, Mingguan reported.

Two agents have been identified as being active in smuggling illegal Malaysian workers into South Korea. According to the paper, one is operated by two siblings while another is a parent-and-child operation.

However, the paper said South Korean authorities have started tightening entry into the country as they are now aware of the activity.

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