Cambodia frees all 47 Malaysian detainees

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KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 15): All 47 Malaysians detained at the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison have been freed this evening after several rounds of discussions between the Cambodian and Malaysian Governments, said International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) head, Datuk Dr Mustapha Ahmad Marican.

He said Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the release after finding that they were duped by a job agency syndicate.

“According to the Cambodian Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Oknha Datuk Dr Othsman Hassan, they had studied and found that all the Malaysian detainees had been cheated by the syndicate.

“They also took into account the long-standing diplomatic ties between the two nations,” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

Wisma Putra (Malaysia's Foreign Ministry) confirmed last Thursday the detention of the 47 Malaysians in Cambodia since Dec 11 last year on charges of cheating, initiating and carrying out illegal online gambling activities.

Dr Mustapha said apart from Wisma Putra, other leaders and representatives from Sarawak had also been to Cambodia over the last few days to discuss ways to free the detainees.

Meanwhile, Zunita Sedini had earlier claimed that her son, Yusof Islam and the other 46 Malaysians were promised jobs with lucrative salaries of up to US$1,500 (about RM6,100), and only found out that it was a scam when they arrived in Cambodia.