Saturday, March 25, 2023

Job scam syndicates places RMB1 million bounty on M’sians who escaped slave labour in Laos

Social NewsJob scam syndicates places RMB1 million bounty on M'sians who escaped slave...

Over the past few months, there had been several reports about Malaysians ending up victims of human trafficking in countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia after being tricked into dubious high-pay jobs.

Once in a while, these victims managed to escape captivity and return home. However, syndicates who lose such ’employees’ weren’t exactly happy about this.

According to a report by Sin Chew, a group of Malaysian “piglets” (slave labour), who escaped the syndicates’ clutches, shared that the gangsters have placed a bounty of RMB1 million (≈RM650,000) on their heads, dead or alive.

Source: Sin Chew

How it started?

Among those who escaped are a pair of brothers surnamed Tan, who had been working as bartenders in Singapore before they lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic. They later saw an advertisement for high-paying financial jobs on Facebook, leading them to this disaster.

The brothers said that around March this year, an agent smuggled them into Thailand through rat routes and took them to Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GTSEZ) in Laos. After arriving, they realised that they were recruited by gangsters to work as phone and internet scammers.

They shared that they received a salary of RMB7,000 (≈RM4,556) for the first month but they stopped getting paid after that.

The brothers then asked to be returned to Malaysia but their handler told them that they must each compensate RMB500,000 (≈RM325,463), or else they would be sold to other syndicates. They were then left with no choice but to continue working hard.

The Great Escape

Fortunately, they managed to call their father in Penang to secretly request for help. At the same time, they asked their local friends from Laos for help to help them escape.

After months of planning, the two brothers and two other Malaysians started their escape plan — to dig a tunnel to escape from the work site, then be taken away by friends on motorcycles.

Meanwhile, his father requested help from Datuk Hishammuddin Hashim, secretary-general of the Malaysian International Humanitarian Organization, where he contacted the Malaysian embassy in Laos and the Laos police to ensure the Malaysians returned home safely.

Unfortunately, there are many more Malaysians who are stuck there as they cannot afford to pay for the release fee mentioned above.

Apart from waiting for the authorities to take action, let us spread the awareness of such job scam to prevent any future tragedies.

Stay tuned for more updates. 

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