700 Malaysians are trapped in Laos after responded to casino job ads.
A Chinese-owned casino and hotel complex reportedly hired 700 Malaysians to work there, but they never arrived, leaving them stuck in Laos.
Most are compelled to work as internet con artists, and torture and beatings are used to coerce compliance. Many Malaysian employees are in the SEZ. The SEZ, or Special Economic Zone, is located in the Golden Triangle of Laos.
People come from a wide variety of nations, including Malaysia, Vietnam, and Myanmar. They have a variety of vocations, but the majority of them here in the Golden Triangle operate as internet con artists.
Due to the language barrier, foreign employees like the Malaysians find it difficult to communicate their complaints to the Lao government. They are unsure of who to report the mistreatment to—their own embassies or the government’s SEZ Task Force.
According to reports, the SEZ is a Chinese-focused casino and tourism hub situated along the Mekong River where Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand converge.
Three Malaysian NGOs brought up the case of Malaysians who had been taken in by job recruiters in Laos for the first time on September 25.
Malaysians who were promised high-paying jobs in Laos were abducted and subjected to beatings and, in some cases, shooting when they disobeyed orders, according to reports from the Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO), Malaysia Community Crime Care, and Semboyan Malaysia Consumers Association.
There are also rumours that several Malaysian women were coerced into prostitution.
According to reports, MHO Secretary-General Datuk Hishamuddin Hashim stated that while local officials were protecting the offenders from punishment, four Malaysians managed to flee and another six were rescued thanks to the assistance of the Malaysian embassy in Laos.
In addition, the syndicate wanted a ransom of RM 50,000 to RM 100,000 to free its Malaysian hostages.