The victim of a scammer syndicate, Lee Kar Meng, 32, shared his true story with reporters today after being able to return to Malaysia yesterday. The painful experience of being forced to work as a scammer in Cambodia for more than a year, makes this man more careful with offers of well-paid job advertisements.
According to Kar Meng who is from Ipoh, at the beginning he was told that there was a job opportunity with a decent salary in the country. However he did not think that the job in question was working with a syndicate and making calls to cheat people.
“I arrived in Cambodia in January of last year and I was given a job as a scammer. But they saw that I was not good at that job and I was transferred to another company, also working as a scammer.
“I was repeatedly transferred, up to seven companies (of scammers), but they all operate in the same place. I and others had to call people from China, Vietnam and even Malaysia.
“We were taught how to work as a scammer by downloading applications such as WeChat, Facebook and Telegram. Next, we had to look for victims by pretending to be friends on social media.
“After gaining their trust, we would invite them to participate in contests or sell products. It depended on the situation and the wishes of the syndicate,” he said.
He spoke to reporters at a special press conference at the Ipoh West MCA Coordination Centre here on Wednesday.
Also present were Perak MCA Complaints and Public Service Bureau Chief, Low Guo Nan and the victim’s father, Lee Joo Heng.
He said that in all the time that he worked in that country, he only received a salary of 600 USD only once.
Asked how he was able to move into Cambodia last year, he explained that the agency (syndicate) in question brought him in illegally.
“I really didn’t have a passport but the agent said it’s not necessary. At first a friend said that if you go there you can find a lot of money there, but suddenly when you get there it’s a different story.
“I was taken by car to Johor Bahru first, where they gathered other people. After that, we moved to the Thai border, Sungai Golok and then entered Cambodia,” he said.
He further explained that he managed to escape from the syndicate when he was driven from the place last May, as it was understood that they were afraid of criminal activities being sniffed out by the authorities.
This is due to a press conference held two months ago by the Perak MCA, which revealed the activities and photos of the dormitory building in Cambodia that housed the victims.
“I was chased away, and then I went to the nearest police station and told them the truth.
“After that I was sent to Immigration and sat there until July 31. I was finally sent back to Malaysia on August 1,” he said.
He urges the public not to get caught up in fraud and become a victim like him.
“It is wrong for us to go where people don’t have passports. I regret that action.
“Don’t be quick to believe scammers’ ads, I have also taken note of what happened,” he said.
Meanwhile, Low Guo Nan hopes that the Malaysian police, Interpol and the ASEAN Police can work together to combat the increasingly serious issue of human trafficking.
“Don’t be easily fooled by advertisements offering jobs abroad with good salaries.
“In addition to advertisements on social media, there are also agents who cooperate with human trafficking syndicates by training Malaysians to work as scammers in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand,” he said.
By Rosli Mansor Ahmad Razali