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43 M’sians Fall For Job Scams & Forced To Commit Online Fraud, Rescued By Peru Police

Peru Police Rescue 43 Malaysian Victims Of Scam Syndicate

On Monday (9 Oct), reports surfaced of the police in Peru rescuing 44 victims of a scam syndicate involved in a human trafficking operation.

Of the 44, 43 were Malaysians and will be repatriated to Malaysia, having undergone an investigation process.

Meanwhile, Malaysian police have said that they aim to track down those responsible for luring the victims.

Peru police rescue 43 Malaysian scam syndicate victims

According to The Star, police in Peru rescued 44 scam syndicate victims from a criminal organisation responsible for telecommunication fraud.

43 of them were Malaysian citizens, AP News reported.

The victims reportedly took part in the “Macau scam”, which crime syndicates in Taiwan and China often conduct.

Source: The Guardian

The scheme consists of scammers pretending to be banks or public officials, tricking victims into revealing their personal banking details or sending money to third-party accounts.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry said that Peruvian police found the 43 victims after a raid at a house in La Molina, Lima, on 7 Oct.

The Malaysian Embassy in Lima has since visited the victims and confirmed that they are in good condition.

“All victims have also undergone an investigation process and will be repatriated to Malaysia,” the ministry said.

Over S$13,000 seized from operation

Citing activists and government officials, The Guardian reported that hundreds of Malaysians often travel to Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos due to lucrative job offers.

Once at their destinations, though, scam syndicates allegedly force them to trick people online with cryptocurrency schemes and Internet romances.

Source: The Star

The captives apparently entered Peru in September after falling victim to casino job offers online. They also shared with investigators that their captors took them to Amsterdam in the Netherlands before Peru.

Once in Peru, members of a Taiwanese criminal syndicate, Red Dragon, allegedly took their passports. They could not contact their relatives either.

After two of the women escaped and went to the authorities, police conducted an operation.

During the investigation, they seized more than £8,200 (S$13,723) in cash, mobile phones and bank cards from the house where the victims were held captive.

Authorities working to track down syndicate

Malaysian authorities now aim to track down those responsible for the human trafficking operation, The Star noted.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Razarudin Husain confirmed this during a press conference today (10 Oct).

Source: The Star

“We aim to track down the syndicate responsible including identifying and detaining the recruiters,” he reportedly said.

Tan Sri Razarudin added that Bukit Aman CID’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants division would interview the victims upon their return.

“Police will record their statements. We expect them to give us their full cooperation,” he declared.

The Inspector-General also confirmed that the 43 Malaysians, comprising 26 women and 17 men, came to Peru on 29 Sep.

He shared that Malaysian authorities believed this was the first such case of citizens working for scam syndicates in the country.

“Usually such cases occur in South-East Asian countries such as Laos and Myanmar,” he said.

Tan Sri Razarudin further stated that according to checks, the victims left Malaysia via legal means.

“On top of enforcement operations, we will step up efforts to create more awareness on scams,” the Inspector-General mentioned. “There are still many who fall victim to scams, especially investment scams.”

Also read: S’pore & M’sia Police Bust Fake Friend Scam Syndicate Targeting S’poreans In Johor, 12 Arrested

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Featured image adapted from The Guardian.

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