PETALING JAYA: A total of 139 Malaysian job scam victims are still stranded abroad, according to Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution.

According to the New Straits Times, Saifuddin told the Dewan Negara that 331 out of 470 victims had been rescued from international job scam syndicates since September 2021.

The figures are based on the 362 cases reported to the police during that time.

The minister added that the government had taken “various comprehensive measures” to tackle the issue at hand, as quoted.

“We have the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Council (Mapo), under the Home Ministry, which includes 22 ministries, agencies, and non-governmental organisations.

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“The efforts extend to engaging with countries where victims are often located, namely Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos.

“The authorities have also been diligently identifying syndicates and ensuring thorough investigations are conducted for each rescue operation,” he was quoted as saying.

He mentioned that the government was also working on raising awareness to the public and continuously engaging with relevant stakeholders.

Saifuddin said this in response to a question by Senator Rita Sarimah Anak Patrick Insol during the question and answer session where she asked about the latest number of job scam victims and how the government’s approach to rescuing them.

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Through police profiling, Saifuddin also outlined four categories of job scam syndicate victims in his reply.

Victims being aware of such risks in these offers but were lured by high income prospects fell under the first category while the second category of victims are those who were stranded in foreign countries due to debts incurred by gambling and claimed to be victims of a job scam syndicate.

The third category were victims who refused to work together with the authorities while victims in the fourth category were individuals whom the authorities brought back home but left once more.

Saifuddin was quoted as saying that these victims in the fourth category were still brought home due to the “principle of the right of return.”

He added that most victims came from Selangor, Johor and Sarawak.

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