KUANTAN: From getting shocked with cattle prods and being brutally beaten up, a cook suffered months of agonising torture as a victim of a job scam before he successfully escaped.
See, 23, from Tangkak, Johor, had been tricked by an acquaintance who told him of a job offer to work at a restaurant in Cambodia.
He met with the contact person in Johor Jaya, who bought him a meal and offered him a drink. It was then that See fell unconscious and was taken across the border by land and to Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
“As I recall, it took about five days to get there. I was put to work by a syndicate doing love scams by using Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook.
“They set my target at US$50,000 a week and would beat me up or torture me with cattle prods if I could not scam enough victims,” said See on Friday (Nov 18).
See’s arms and legs were covered with grisly scars from getting shocked with cattle prods. He also had a fracture in his left foot from getting beaten up by the syndicate members.
See said he was sold five times to different syndicate groups during his time in Sihanoukville.
He eventually managed to contact incumbent Teruntum assemblyman Sim Chon Siang through a friend in Kuantan.
Sim said that for four months, See would message him two to three times every week whenever he got tortured.
“He begged me to save him but getting victims out of Sihanoukville is a very difficult task. The syndicate would move him around to different locations and whenever I pass the information to our Malaysian authorities, the syndicate would somehow know about it and then torture See and move him again,” said Sim.
In September, See saw an opportunity to escape during a police raid in Sihanoukville and Sim advised him to quickly make a run for it.
“I told him to get to Phnom Penh because my contacts are there and can help him,” Sim said.
See said he was chased by the syndicate members and had to switch taxis several times to avoid getting caught. Unfortunately, See was robbed by a taxi driver, which left him with no money to continue his journey.
Sim then told See to hole himself in a casino as there were security guards there who could dissuade the syndicate from trying to recapture him.
With the help of Sim’s contacts, See eventually arrived in Phnom Penh and was detained at an immigration depot for one and a half months before being repatriated to Malaysia.
“My parents were shocked when I returned because they did not know I had fallen victim to a job scam. I am really thankful I got out with my life,” said See, adding that he was not aware of such job scams before he became a victim.
See advised Malaysian youths to keep abreast with news and current affairs so as to not become victims themselves.
Incumbent Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh called on the authorities to intensify efforts to rescue job scam victims still stuck overseas and to come up with an effective long-term solution to the problem.
Sim also slammed Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah for claiming that some of the victims refused to come back.
“That’s because they are not victims but rather, they are the supervisors. These are Malaysians who supervise the other job scam victims and are part of the syndicate,” he said.
In October, Saifuddin reportedly told the Dewan Rakyat that some job scam victims in Cambodia refused to return home despite the government’s efforts to rescue them.
Saifuddin however, said he could not reveal why the victims did not want to return.