We were given papaya leaves to eat, says job scam victim

Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah with the eight Malaysians at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport this afternoon.

SEPANG: Eight Malaysians who fell victim to a job scam in Africa returned home this afternoon and related how they were given papaya leaves to eat before their meals.

The eight, all from Sarawak, arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 3.30pm and were welcomed by Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Wisma Putra officials.

They had been detained in Liberia since Feb 4 after they were promised jobs with good salaries there.

Saifuddin said he was grateful the Malaysians had arrived safely.

“We sent a representative from Wisma Putra to Liberia to negotiate their release with the government,” he told reporters.

Bon Egat says they were fed rice with ‘a pinch of salt’.

One of the eight, Bon Egat, described his experience as “horrifying”.

“We were given papaya leaves to eat while waiting for our meals,” he said.

Bon said they were fed rice with “a pinch of salt”.

It was the second incident this year involving Malaysians who went abroad to work, following the release of 47 from a Cambodian prison after they were found to be victims of a human smuggling syndicate

Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii had earlier said the eight Sarawakians, who were scheduled to fly to Sibu later today, were cheated by a local job syndicate.