Chinese embassy probes forced beggars case

Petaling StreetKUALA LUMPUR: China’s embassy in Malaysia is investigating a report that its citizens are abducted and maimed before being brought to Malaysia to beg professionally.

According to crienglish.com, quoting the Beijing Youth Daily, an unnamed official from the Consular Office of China’s embassy here said cases of people from China begging and wandering in Malaysia was not new.

He said the embassy always took “measures” once such cases were specifically identified.

However, the report quoted him as saying, when one criminal gang was destroyed, new gangs came up to replace them.

The official said these cases were mainly handled by Malaysian police and that the embassy could only help its citizens by calling in the police if they knew of such cases, and cooperating with the investigations.

After the abducted people were rescued, the consular office would contact volunteers to help with providing meals and accommodations, the report quoted him as saying.

The Star recently reported about transnational gangs maiming and disfiguring people in China, keeping them captive for a number of years, and then bringing them to Malaysia on tourist visas to beg at holiday hot spots.

The Star report said the gang was run by two brothers from China, with the help of local accomplices.

The Star’s reporters trailed two beggars from Jonker Walk in Malacca on Oct 14 to Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur three days later.

“From observations made in Kuala Lumpur, some 30 physically disabled and disfigured individuals were seen converging at a budget hotel in busy Petaling Street,” The Star reported.

The Star’s reporters spoke to two of the beggars to get details about how the gang worked and where the beggars stayed. One of them said: “Malaysia is our second home. We come here frequently and stay for a month before returning.”