One of the 47 Malaysians claiming to be victims of a job scam in Cambodia is now suspected to be part of a VoIP scam ring and is set to face trial in June in Malaysia, Malaysian police said.
Superintendent Mustafa Kamal Gani Abdullah, Sarawak state commercial crimes investigations department chief, yesterday said that Chang Ying Siong, 25, will be charged under Section 417 of the Malaysian Penal Code for cheating.
“The Chinese man [Mr Chang] was one of the 47 Malaysians detained in Banteay Meanchey and deported back to Malaysia. His trial will be from June 24 to June 28 at the Magistrate’s Court of Kuching here,” he told Khmer Times in a phone interview from Sarawak. “He is facing a charge under Section 417 for cheating. We are not sure yet how he is involved but rest assured that investigations are actively ongoing.”
“Currently, we still have seven pending arrests regarding this job scam case in Cambodia,” Supt Mustafa Kamal added.
Mr Chang was one of the 47 Malaysians who were initially detained in Cambodia for alleged involvement in illicit activities in Cambodia, but were then released on February 15 after intervention from Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The Malaysians claimed they were promised jobs with lucrative salaries up to 1,500 and only discovered that it was a scam upon their arrival in the Kingdom.
While Malaysian and Cambodia media focused on the “victims of an employment scam” narrative, Khmer Times has learnt from credible sources that the group indeed had prior knowledge of the operations and was occupying houses that were designed to facilitate scammers to run VoIP scams, otherwise known as Macao scams.
Cambodian authorities had also found several workstations equipped with technology used in VoIP scams during two separate raids. In spite of this, the Malaysians were allowed to return home as the probe continues on the other side of the region.
When asked if the other seven suspects were also a part of the 47 Malaysian “victims”, Supt Mustafa declined comments, adding that: “I would rather not say as to not disrupt the ongoing probe. We still have suspects at large so we wish to focus on that. We do not want to say anything that might chase the suspects away further.”
Under the Malaysian law, perpetrators found guilty of cheating under Section 417 could face a punishment of up to five years imprisonment or fine, or both.
Supt Mustafa said that Mr Chang was arrested at around 10pm at Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi Adruce in Kuching, Sarawak on March 5.
On March 13, he reportedly was brought to the Magistrate’s Court of Kuching, Sarawak where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of cheating by offering a non-existent job in Cambodia.
He reportedly was accused of having cheated one Chong Jun Kong by offering the latter a job as a chef in Cambodia in October 2018. He was allowed $2,420 bail in two sureties and was ordered to surrender his passport to the court until the case has been settled.