Malaysian tells horror story of 1,000 held captive by love scam ring

The 20-year-old said he worked for only three days but his refusal led to him being pushed off a balcony on the third floor of a building.


Word of caution: Chong talking about what happened to Seah (left) during the press conference at Wisma MCA. With them are Melaka MCA Youth chief Lee Han Lim, who is showing a photo of the injuries sustained by Seah, and MCA Youth executive secretary Goh Boon Huat. — SAMUEL ONG/The Star

June 9, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – A 20-year-old thought he would be getting RM4,000 a month when he answered an advertisement for a waiter’s job. All he got was a head injury, a broken leg and fractured ribs.

It almost cost him his life, too.

He was pushed off the balcony on the third floor of a building and had to spend two weeks in hospital.

The man, who wanted to be known just as Seah, was among more than 1,000 people who had fallen for a job scam in Myanmar.

Seah, who found himself being held in a four-storey building in Myawaddy, said they were forced to be involved in a love scam operation targeting Chinese living in the United States and other countries.

“On each floor, there were about 300 people, mostly Malaysians. They were beaten too, so I know they are also victims,” he said.

Sharing his experience at Wisma MCA here yesterday, Seah said he came across the advertisement on social media, offering RM4,000 a month, about RM1,200 more than what he was earning as a waiter at the time.

After signing on, he was taken by car from Melaka to Kelantan.

From there, he said he was taken via “rat lanes” into Thailand and then Myanmar.

While the journey had roused his suspicions, Seah chose to continue his journey because of the promise of better money.

Seah said he worked for only three days but his refusal led to him being pushed off the building.

“Every day I was beaten with a stick. In April, I was pushed from the balcony on the third floor,” he said.

Seah, who was released after his family and friends paid a RM70,000 ransom, said the syndicate members were Malaysians although he believed that their leader was from China.

MCA Public Services and Complaints Department head Datuk Seri Michael Chong, who was at the press conference, said 74 cases had been brought to their attention since March but only 23 people have been saved.

“Eleven have come home while 12 are being held in detention centres in Thailand and Cambodia.”

Chong said Criminal Investigation Department director Comm Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hasan had given his assurance that the matter would be investigated thoroughly.

“This matter has been brought to Interpol, the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Mapo), and I think the United Nations Human Rights Council is also aware of this.

“We hope the Human Rights Council will step in (to curb human trafficking),” he added.

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