by FAYYADH JAAFAR / pic by Bernama
PARTI Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) is calling for an immediate crackdown on job scams in Cambodia after a series of reports of Malaysians being cheated and physically abused there.
Senior VP Steven Choong Shiau Yoon said the issue was serious as the victims were lured to work in Cambodia only to find themselves trapped in illegal activities.
“PBM is very concerned with the many reports locally, as well as in Taiwan that many people have been cheated to take up high-paying jobs in Cambodia but turned out to be scams, and victims that have been rescued claim that they were physically abused for refusing to do what they were instructed to do,” he said in a statement today.
He added that PBM understood that the governments of Malaysia, Taiwan and Cambodia have all made efforts to publicise and warn the public of the Cambodia job scams, but the problems had been around for several years and persisted.
“While we seek the help of all parties, not just the government but also NGOs to make all efforts to curb job scams using social media, we, however, would especially like to urge the Cambodian government to make extra efforts to track and rescue those that are still being held in Cambodia by the syndicates,” he added.
Citing the news report of the Khemer Times dated July 10, 2022, PBM said Malaysian police had identified the existence of syndicates operating in Malaysia and Cambodia as the root cause of the job scams, and that their modus operandi was to offer victims a job that promised a lucrative salary at call centres in Cambodia via social networking sites such as Facebook and WeChat.
The news further reported that 54 Malaysian victims have been rescued thus far, and there is no information on the number of people that have yet to be rescued.
“PBM strongly believes that job scam syndicates must be cracked down hard so as to save those that are cheated and are still being held to do illegal things in Cambodia and also to prevent more people from becoming victims of job scams there,” Choong said.
Meanwhile, as of Aug 20, 2022, Cambodian authorities detected 87 cases of human trafficking, rescued 865 foreign victims, and arrested more than 60 suspects. In the last week of August, the authorities also cracked down on seven cases, rescued 25 foreign victims, and arrested 23 foreign suspects.
The National Police of Cambodia has set up a special hotline for the public to report alleged illegal detention in the country.
The hotline is available in Vietnamese, English and Chinese languages to enable the public to report any suspected cases of illegal detention, torture, or those seeking assistance from the National Police, VNA reported.
Hotline 117 is located at the command centre of the General Commission of the National Police, which is set to respond immediately when receiving reports of illegal detention, torture, and those seeking assistance from the National Police, it added.