Police Probe Reports Of 8 Sarawakians Coerced Into Working As Scammers In Myanmar

Despite being offered to work in Thailand, the victims were forced to work as online scammers at a call centre in Myanmar.

Cover image via Galileo Petingi/The Borneo Post & Bernama/Free Malaysia Today

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Recently, Sarawak police received three reports concerning eight Sarawakians who were lured into accepting sham job offers and subsequently forced into working as online scammers in Myanmar

According to Bernama, Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Mohd Azman Ahmad Sapri stated that the first report was lodged in Tanjung Manis on 21 September, involving two men.

The following day, on 22 September, another report was lodged in Julau, involving one man, and the third report, involving a group of five men, was lodged in Sibu.

Azman said the victims, aged between 25 and 35, initially received job offers via Facebook to work in Thailand.

He added that they were offered salaries between RM3,000 and RM6,000 per person. However, they were not provided with clear information regarding the nature of the jobs they were applying for.

Upon arrival in Thailand, the Malaysians were all taken to Myanmar and forced to work as scammers

"If they did not meet the target set by their 'employers', they were abused and threatened with being sold to other agents," Bernama quoted Azman as saying.

Azman added that the victims were only able to communicate with their families in secret as they were strictly prohibited from contacting their loved ones.

Some Malaysian job seekers, who ended up working for scammers in Myanmar, brought home by the government in February.

Image via Bernama/Free Malaysia Today

The reports have also been referred to Bukit Aman's Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) D3 unit, Interpol, and Aseanapol for further investigations

"We have also informed the Consulate and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist in expediting the rescue efforts and the return of the victims," said Azman during a media conference at the police headquarters on Monday, 25 September.

Bernama also reported that the case is being investigated under Section 12 of the ATIPSOM Act 2007 (Act 670).

Many Malaysians have fallen victim to job scams after being lured by the promise of a high salary:

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