Six Malaysians trapped in Cambodia safely arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) at about 12am early morning today (27 Oct).
According to a live stream on Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO) official Facebook page, these six victims arrived back home after successfully being rescued from illegal detention by a human trafficking syndicate in Cambodia.
Four of them are from Sabah and the other two are Sarawakians. Some have already been stranded there for seven months, illegally detained in one building, and forced to work 12 hours or more daily in scamming activities.
“We tried to run away, but were unable to find any viable escape method, it was very difficult since the building was heavily guarded with many security officers, from 1st floor to 7th floor. There are at least 10 guarding our working place.” One of the victims told the media.
The victim from Sabah said the building was filled with different companies conducting similar scamming activities. He claimed that he witnessed some victims beaten and electrified.
“We were lucky not to get beaten, but we were being continuously guarded. Our hands need to be on the keyboard all the time or else, we will be electrified. ”
As Cambodian authorities beefed up their raid on illegal detention sites — such as where the four Sabah victims were situated at, the scam syndicate moved the victims to stay overnight in a hotel in Sihanoukville before transiting to another location place to take shelter from the raids.
The victims managed to make use this opportunity to contact MHO, and immediately escaped from the hotel the next morning.
“or else we will not know where we will be transferred to the next day.” said the victim.
He added that they were fearful of the prospect of being blocked or captured in the process of their escape, as their fate will turn worse or even be killed by the criminals.
Escaping along with the four Sabahans who escaped from the hotel, was a Nepali who was also illegally detained.
“We couldn’t just leave him behind so we brought him to escape with us together.”
According to the victim, there are still 20 more Malaysians still detained by the company that they were with and he believes that the syndicate’s boss would likely tighten security to prevent others from escaping.
Azirul Shafiq Sazali, an MHO representative who went to Sihanoukville for the rescue mission told reporters that the organisation set off immediately as soon as it received information about the location of the victims.
He added that the successful rescue mission involved collaboration with Cambodian NGO activists who provided vehicles, Global Anti-Scam Organization (GASO) and International Justice Mission (IJM).
MHO adviser, Tan Sri Musa Hassan said 24 more Malaysians, some are Johorians, are still in Cambodia and in the process of bringing them home with help from the Cambodian government, Malaysian Embassy in Cambodia, Johor State Government and related authorities.
Musa Hassan who is also a former inspector-general of the Royal Malaysian Police, expressed his gratitude to the public that donated to help the victims and bring them home.
As of 21 October 2022, 313 Malaysians who were victims of the job scams have been rescued from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.