15 Malaysians rescued from cybercrime operation in Cambodia

The victims were tricked to work in illegal gambling and scam call centres.
The victims were tricked to work in illegal gambling and scam call centres.

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry received 301 reports of job scams in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand.

Cambodia.- The Cambodian Foreign Ministry has reported that it has rescued 15 Malaysian citizens who had been subjected to illegal work linked to gambling and fraudulent call centres. According to The Borneo Bulletin, the victims have arrived in Kuala Lumpur after being rescued from an illegal operation that was raided by police as part of a large-scale operation.

The victims said they were lured to Cambodia by promises of high-paying jobs in casinos and hotels but were instead forced to live in compounds and defraud online users. Cambodian authorities say they have found evidence of illegal gambling, illegal confinement, torture, prostitution, illegal possession of weapons, money laundering and human trafficking.

Such a case is not uncommon in Cambodia. Last week the Cambodian Foreign Ministry reported that at least 67 Vietnamese citizens had escaped from a casino in the city of Bavet.

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry says it had received 301 reports of people caught up in labour scams in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Of these, 168 people have been rescued, 34 were in immigration detention and 99 more were still being tracked.

A few days ago, the Cambodian government urged authorities in each province to step up their measures to combat unlicensed gambling. Ros Phearun, secretary general of the Cambodian Gambling Management Committee of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, urged authorities to shut down illegal gambling in cafes and shops.

He noted that such operations were not licensed by the Cambodian Gambling Regulatory Committee ( CEC). He added that only 60 casinos have gaming licences but that 140 operate in the country, a figure that reflects the growth of illegal gambling. Phearun added that the regulator is identifying different types of illegal games to make it easier for relevant ministries and local authorities to crack down on such businesses.

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