By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Feb 19: Police have identified the local suspect(s) in the job scam that led to the detention of 47 Malaysians in a Cambodian prison.
Sarawak Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) chief Supt Mustafa Kamal Ghani Abdullah said efforts to track down the suspect(s) had intensified, but he declined to divulge more details so as not to jeopardise the investigation.
As at 7pm today (Feb 19), CCID has received eight reports from the victims, including from two females.
All the police reports are now being investigated under Section 420 of the Penal Code.
“From our investigations, we’ve found that the victims have been offered hotel jobs in Cambodia with a monthly salary of between USD1,200 and USD1,500. Each victim is required to pay a processing fee of between USD200 and USD300 to the bank account of a Sarawakian.
“The victims found out about the lucrative job offer through Facebook and WeChat. After paying the fee, they flew to Cambodia separately between October and November last year,” Mustafa said.
Upon arriving at Siem Reap International Airport, the victims were taken to a house and kept there. Meals were provided, but they were not allowed to go out. They had to surrender their mobile phones and passports to the men guarding the house.
“Based on the victim’s description, they were directed to memorised scripts and act as bank officers or court officials, which they will then make or receive phone calls to scam people. This description is similar to the Macau Scam syndicate’s modus operandi,” Mustafa said.
In addition, they were also forced to promote online gambling via phone calls and SMS to the numbers provided.
The ex-detainees, including 40 Sarawakians, were held at the Banteay Meanchey provincial jail after they were arrested on Dec 11 last year.
The decision to release the 47 Malaysians came after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen determined that the detainees were deceived by a syndicate acting as job agents.
After the release, they were all flown back to Malaysia on Feb 17.
The Sarawakians and three Sabahans arrived in Kuching on board a chartered flight, accompanied by Minister of Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah and Santubong MP Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, among other officials. — DayakDaily