News of job scam victims making their way home have flooded media outlets for the past few months. Tragically, there is still a large number of Malaysians stranded abroad and abused at the hands of syndicate members.
Today, The Star reported that 19-year-old victim of human trafficking is asking his grandmother to save him from a harrowing situation in Myanmar.
The 61-year-old woman, who desired to be referred to as Chong, claimed she was contacted by her grandson on Monday (November 14) through Facebook Messenger. She disclosed his first name, Ah Yang, out of concern for his safety.
He was reportedly sobbing, pleading to be saved and taken home.
Chong, a waitress, stated during a news conference hosted by Ipoh Barat MCA organiser Low Guo Nan on Wednesday that Ah Yang mentioned that he had been physically assaulted and shocked with an electric prod, and has bruises all over his body.
In tears, she remarked, “He also informed me that he had attempted to flee, but failed. Ah Yang claimed he was being imprisoned in a site termed ‘KK2’ in Myanmar, where scores of other Malaysians were being compelled to serve as scammers.”
Chong also revealed that in May, her grandson, who had previously worked as a kitchen assistant here, had notified her that he had secured employment in Kuala Lumpur.
“I was surprised when he later told me that he was travelling to Thailand to work there after finding a well-paying job,” she said. Chong does not know what transpired after, nor how her grandson ended up in Myanmar rather than Thailand from there.
From that point until she received the call a few days ago, she claimed to have lost contact with him. According to Chong, her grandson has lived with her ever since his parents split up when he was just three years old.
“I just seen his most recent photo, and he seems so much thinner. I am genuinely concerned about how he is holding out. I want him to be back here soon, before Chinese New Year,” she said, adding that it would cost approximately US$25,000 (roughly RM115,625) to obtain her grandson’s release.
Low Guo Nan said that in addition to writing to Interpol, Aseanapol, and the Malaysian Embassy in Myanmar regarding the incident, he had accompanied Chong to the police station to file a report.
“There was no guarantee that he would be released, so I persuaded Chong not to pay the ransom to get her grandson back,” he claimed, adding that he had obtained the needed details and handed it to the local police.
“There remain a plethora of Malaysians abroad who are caught in similar circumstances, but there were also others who had been freed and had come back to Malaysia.
“I think there are still a lot of job openings in Malaysia, and I really hope that those who are looking for work just stay within the country rather than leaving,” he concluded.