KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian gambler, unable to repay his loans after incurring substantial losses from gambling abroad, resorted to calling himself a “piggy” and seeking assistance from the Malaysian police. Shockingly, upon arrival, the police discovered that the gambler was staying in a luxurious hotel and even had the audacity to request financial aid to settle his accommodation expenses.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasudian recently shed light on this disconcerting trend, stating that some individuals exploit rescue operations, knowing that the Malaysian government is committed to assisting its citizens in distress, regardless of the circumstances.
“Some individuals voluntarily put themselves in such situations, and when they lose money gambling, they turn to the government for rescue. They would borrow heavily, and if they are unable to repay, they request government intervention. They know that the Malaysian government will come to their aid. However, upon police investigation, it was discovered that the individual was residing in a luxurious hotel, and the police had to assist in settling the hotel bill,” said Saifuddin.
During a joint interview with “Insider2U” and other media outlets, Saifuddin Nasudian acknowledged the alarming prevalence of labor scams involving Malaysians being trafficked abroad to work as “piggy” laborers. The victims willingly participate in fraudulent activities, fully aware of the illegal nature of their employment.
“In truth, some of them are aware that they are engaging in fraudulent schemes. However, upon reaching their destination, they are informed about the imposed work quotas and the consequences for failure. As a result, they seek assistance from local law enforcement agencies,” he explained.
Obtaining information from these “piggy” victims has proven challenging for the police. Out of ten rescued victims, only two are willing to provide information. Many victims experience shame or fear for their safety, which hampers the investigative process.
Saifuddin Nasudian highlighted that the majority of “piggy” victims are found in countries such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Dubai. In efforts to address this issue, the Ministry of Home Affairs collaborates with ASEAN Police (ASEANAPOL) while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs works with various embassies. Their aim is to repatriate Malaysians who have fallen victim to such schemes.
The Malaysian government remains committed to safeguarding its citizens and will continue to work diligently to combat these exploitative labor practices and address the challenges associated with illegal gambling activities abroad.