EIGHTEEN Chinese farmers sold their land and cows to pay their way to Malaysia hoping to strike their little pot of gold to work in a construction site.
But the “agent”, a China national who claimed to be acting for a Chinese property developer with projects in Malaysia, turned out to be a cheat.
After collecting between RMB20,000 and RMB60,000 (RM12,700 and RM38,300) from each of them as agent fees and to secure a work permit and a return air ticket, the bogus agent took them to a construction site in Johor on the night of April 10 and did a disappearing act, China Press reported today.
The farmers, who were attracted by the RMB13,000 (about RM8,300) a month salary promised by the “agent”, realised they were cheated the next day when the China developer denied having hired them or having any knowledge of the “agent”.
To their shock, they also discovered that the agent did not obtain any work permit for them and the return air tickets turned out to be a one-way ticket.
With no money to buy a ticket home, the farmers, who are aged between 30 and 50 and from the Henan province, were left languishing at the Senai International Airport waiting for relatives to raise and wire them money for a ticket home.
One of the stranded farmers, 50-year-old Lee Yan-wen, said they did not lodge any police report due to communication problems.
He said they were surviving on a meal a day.
It is learnt that the Chinese embassy has rendered assistance to the farmers on reading the press report and made arrangement for them to return to China tomorrow.
It is understood that another group of Chinese nationals were similarly cheated two weeks ago and were left stranded at the same airport for a week.