Sunday, October 23, 2011

Duped by 'pen pal' Submitted by shaza on Monday, October 24th, 2011 * Duped by pen pal * Local * News 'Slow-learner' loses savings, forced to marry and nearly made drug mule

TARGETED: Ng (right) claims she was duped by a pen pal and forced to marry a Chinese national. Tai is beside her.

It all started when a lonely woman reached out for friendship in a personal advertisement.

Little did she know that in less than two years, she would lose her savings, forced to marry a foreigner and narrowly escape being turned into a drug mule.

Ng Seet Kim, 26, works as a cleaner at a hardware shop in Batu Caves and is described as a slow-learner.

Her mother, who only wanted to be known as Madam Tai, said that in September last year, Ng placed a personal ad in a Chinese-language magazine seeking pen pals.

“She was lonely and wanted to make friends,” she said.

A 27-year-old man responded by calling her.

Ng apparently told the "pen pal" she was a slow-learner but he did not mind. Two weeks later, he asked her out and picked her up at her workplace.

The man then took her to the National Registration Department in Putrajaya, where he allegedly asked for Ng's MyKad and changed the address.

“Last December, the man asked her out again and forced her to sign several documents to register a company at The Mall Shopping Complex," said Tai She said Ng was brought to a bank in Selayang to open an account and forced to sign 15 cheques for several thousand ringgit.

Tai said he asked for money every month until her daughter had nothing but her salary to give him.

The man then dropped out of sight for several months until September this year when he brought Ng to a bridal shop in Jalan Ipoh where he introduced her to a Chinese national.

Tai said Ng was forced to marry the 37-year-old man at the National Registration Department in Kuala Lumpur on Sept 19, witnessed by two witnesses, including the "pen pal", who arranged the "wedding".

On Oct 13, the man called Ng again and demanded RM6,800, but she told him she did not have the money.

“My daughter did not owe him anything but he threatened her by claiming she owed him money,” said Tai.

He gave her two choices — borrow from loan sharks or go to China to pick up some luggage to bring back to Malaysia.

“She was distressed and even tried to commit suicide," said Tai, who became suspicious when Ng did not give her her salary to keep as usual. Ng later told her what happened and they lodged a report with Selayang police.

Tai said Ng was the third of five siblings and had been a slow-learner since she was a child.

Her plight was brought to MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau head Datuk Michael Chong's attention.

“There is a syndicate preying on slow-learners and these women would be forced to marry older men from China," said Chong.

He said the bureau had received nine such complaints.

“Their purpose is to gain permanent residence in Malaysia and victims who fall prey to these syndicates could be forced to become drug mules.”

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