KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has received 572 reports involving Malaysians who were victims of job scam syndicates abroad as of Sunday (Feb 19), the Dewan Rakyat was told on Monday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Mohamad Alamin said the reports were received through the Malaysian Embassies in Bangkok (Thailand), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Vientiane (Laos) and Yangon (Myanmar).
“Out of the number, 403 individuals have been successfully rescued, with 382 people sent home, including five people who returned last Sunday.
“The remaining 21 people are being held at the detention depot while waiting for the same process, while another 169 are still being traced,” he said during the question and answer session.
He said this in response to a question by Pakatan Harapan lawmaker Aminolhuda Hassan regarding the steps taken to ensure the safety of Malaysians who have been victims of scams abroad, especially in Myanmar.
Mohamad said the actions taken by the embassies in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar included holding meetings with the authorities of the countries involved to locate and rescue Malaysian victims, as well as providing appropriate consular assistance after they were rescued to help them return home.
Replying to Aminolhuda’s supplementary question on the cost borne by the Foreign Ministry to bring home the victims of job scams and whether the ministry was involved in the ransom payment, he said it was borne by the victims’ families and next of kin.
“Any repatriation costs are actually not placed under the responsibility of the ministry, there are no costs incurred. This is the full responsibility of the family and next of kin,” he said.
“Secondly, the matter of refunding money does not come under the ministry or the government. It is also the responsibility of the family and next of kin of the victim involved.”