Recently, a 14-year-old almost became a scam victim and risked himself of being sold to Thailand for labour after falling for the promise of a job that offers RM1,800 monthly by simply playing games.
Zhang left his house on 22 March and fortunately, 3 days later, he was safely brought home.
According to an interview with China Press, Zhang’s mother said that her son fell for the words of his peer, who he met through online games and who is also a school dropout.
“He promised my son a job that offers RM1,800 per month and persuaded him to go to Johor for the job,” she explained.
After hearing the job offer, Zhang took the bus from KL to Johor Bahru all by himself.
Zhang safely reached JB but his arrival did not turn out to be the sweet dream that was promised to him.
“He was immediately locked in a wooden house and his photocopy IC was also confiscated,” Zhang’s mother said.
Zhang also said that when he was being held captive in the wooden house, he overheard conversations about selling him to Thailand.
After Zhang was not contactable for 24 hours, his mother immediately lodged a police report and posted a missing person’s notice on social media. Fortunately, with the help of Zhang’s primary school teacher, they managed to reach out to Zhang on the 2nd evening.
They immediately made their way to JB upon knowing his whereabouts.
In another interview, Zhang’s mother revealed that the peer who persuaded her son to leave the house actually asked for a “fee” for looking after her child.
“He told me that the food, the clothes and the accommodation for my son was all on him throughout the 3 days and asked me to give him RM300, or he will not allow my son to go home.”
The family immediately lodged another police report in Petaling Jaya Police Station where they were told off by the police for risking their safety to retrieve Zhang without informing the police.
In related news, job scam victims from Malaysia, Taiwan and even China are being held in prison-like conditions in the Myawaddy area at the Thai-Myanmar border.
A victim claimed he was in a tightly guarded area where trafficked people were forced to become reluctant scammers to snare prospective victims around the world by phone.
Workers from China were the worst treated and were beaten and confined to a dark room for days if they disobeyed orders, he said.
“Malaysians are treated better but still get beaten if they do not perform,” the victim claimed after he managed to get in touch with Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) members of Jelutong town in the Malaysian state of Penang.
Jelutong MCA committee member Jeffrey Ooi said he had spoken with the victim.
“There are mini markets, restaurants, clinics and amusement centres in the area for syndicate members to use,” Mr Ooi told a press conference at the division’s premises in Jalan Taman Free School on Friday (May 13).
“One of the victims we talked to claimed he was ‘sold’ by a Malaysian agent to a syndicate there for between RM30,000 (S$9,500) and RM50,000 (S$15,900).