PETALING JAYA – Twenty Malaysian women, looking for love with Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, have been duped of millions of ringgit and left stranded on the Turkey-Syria border.
Counter Terrorism Division principal assistant director Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay told Utusan Malaysia that over 20 women had sold houses and cars and used bank loans to finance their trips to Syria via Turkey.
“When they arrived in Istanbul, they and other foreigners, including Indonesians, were taken by minders to a halfway house. They surrendered their passports and mobile phones to these minders to avoid being detected,” Ayob was quoted as saying.
The duped women were asked for money to cover expenses for lodging and food. Some stayed in Turkey for up to five months. Their dreams of reaching Syria and marrying militants were dashed when they ran out of money.
These minders are said to be working closely with Malaysian ISIS militant Mohamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi to extract large amount of monies from the women.
“Once their monies are all taken, these caretakers will then chase these women away,” Ayob said. “These minders find ways to get these women to leave the house.”
The women are taken to the Turkey-Syria border and abandoned, usually at Hatay and Gaziantep, where travellers who might be crossing to join ISIS are closely monitored.
The victims, who went in search of ISIS lovers, were apprehended by the authorities for overstaying and deported back to Malaysia.