47 detained in Cambodia might not be trafficking victims, say cops

Kuching district police chief ACP Ng Ah Lek (left) handing over his duties to his deputy, Supt Ismail Mahmud (right). With them is state criminal investigation department senior assistant commissioner Dennis Leong.

KUCHING: Police today said the case in which 47 Malaysians were detained in Cambodia might not be related to human trafficking as some of them had done the same job before.

State criminal investigation department (CID) senior assistant commissioner Dennis Leong also said that some of the detainees were not “first-timers”.

“So you can see that it doesn’t match. That is why we are trying to get more witnesses to come forward,” he said after the handover of duties ceremony for the district police chief here.

At the event, Kuching district police chief ACP Ng Ah Lek handed over his duties to his deputy Supt Ismail Mahmud.

Leong also said the main investigation is being handled by the commercial crime investigation department.

“On our side in the CID, we have also begun some investigations. We can only find out if there was human trafficking involved once we are done with our inquiries.

“We hope to wrap it up in a couple of weeks,” he said.

The 47 Malaysians were detained in Cambodia on Dec 11 on charges of cheating and carrying out illegal online gambling activities.

They were all released after it was found that they had been scammed by a syndicate promising them jobs.

So far, 23 people have lodged police reports on the matter, with three suspects remanded in connection with the case.