Malaysian embassy in Cambodia helping citizens lured by fake jobs to return home

Adverts on social media channels promise lucrative employment in Cambodia but, upon arrival, people find themselves forced into working for criminal gangs. – AFP pic, July 10, 2022.

THE Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh so far this year has worked to return 46 Malaysians in Cambodia home, having been duped by lucrative job offers in the country.

“To date, there are more than 60 cases (Malaysians falling prey to job scams) pending further action. We are working closely with the Cambodian authorities in facilitating them to return home,” Malaysian Ambassador to Cambodia Eldeen Husaini Mohd Hashim said.

In 2018, the embassy helped 47 Malaysians in similar predicament, while no cases were reported in 2020 or 2021, following the closure of borders during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most recent involved four Malaysians who were duped by syndicates that offered high-paying jobs in Cambodia.

The four, ages between 29 and 41 managed to return home yesterday.

Gangs typically offer victims high paying jobs overseas via social networking sites such as Facebook. However, when they arrived in the kingdom, they are forced to make telephone calls to con prospective victims around the world.

Those who fell prey to the scam realise they have been deceived but they are not allowed to return to Malaysia, and their families are forced to pay a ransom for their release.

Meanwhile, Eldeen urged Malaysians to be cautious about job adverts promising lucrative pay overseas.

“Check with the local authorities, including the embassy, to validate the job offers. Do inform your parents and relatives in Malaysia if you receive such offer. They might give you a valuable second opinion on whether the job offer is a scam,” he said.

Eldeen also said he appreciated the efforts of the Cambodian authorities and the close co-operation given to help Malaysians who have fallen victim to job scams in the kingdom.

He said many Malaysians remain stranded in the kingdom after being duped.

“We are working closely with the authorities to help them return home. However, the process in handling the cases differs and takes time,” he said.

For example, he said it would take time for authorities to verify victims’ identity as most of them entered the kingdom illegally without travel documents.

“People who break the law (immigration offences) will be prosecuted and may have to serve prison terms here before they can return home,” he said. – Bernama, July 10, 2022.

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