The family is perplexed as he had no prior history of heart attacks or related illnesses.
In a heart-wrenching incident, a Malaysian citizen tragically lost his life while in Myanmar immigration custody, after being rescued from becoming a victim of human trafficking.
Muhammad Izzat Abdul Wahab, 28, was confirmed to have passed away on 14 October at the Tachileik Immigration Center in Myanmar.
The victim was believed to have been rescued by a representative from the Malaysia International Humanitarian Organisation (MHO), Azizul Syafik, at a hotel in Myanmar with the help of fellow Malaysians in the area, before being handed over to the Myanmar immigration authorities.
Muhammad Hasmanizam Abdul Wahab, the deceased’s brother, was quoted by MalaysiaGazette that he received the news after being contacted by MHO.
Allahyarham Muhammad Izzat Abdul Wahab 28, merupakan tahanan Imigresen Tachileik Myanmar selepas berjaya diselamatkan daripada menjadi mangsa pemerdagangan manusia di Myanmar tetapi disahkan meninggal dunia kelmarin akibat serangan jantung. Allahyarham berasal dr Kuantan, Pahang pic.twitter.com/xPJyE9jHxj— Sufi Firdausi (@sofiyanyusof79) October 16, 2023
He added that Muhammad Izzat had taken a flight to Bangkok before being abducted by the syndicate and taken to Myanmar via land route before being rescued.
“Subsequently, my brother was taken into immigration custody for questioning and court proceedings within a week. However, to our utmost shock and devastation, he was reported to have passed away within two days of being detained. We received a video recording of him in custody,” he shared with MalaysiaGazette.
Tragic Loss and Unanswered Questions
The family finds it puzzling that the medical decision from Myanmar attributes the victim’s death to a heart condition.
Kosmo quoted Hasmanizam saying that his brother had no history of heart attacks or related illnesses in their home country.
He was a hard worker, doing jobs such as mowing lawns, lifting heavy objects, and working for Food Panda.
Hasmanizam also shared that the deceased did not inform his family about his trip out of the country.
According to medical reports from Myanmar, the victim’s cause of death was a heart condition, despite him having no known illnesses and being in good health.
The family is hoping for assistance from the Malaysian embassy in managing the arrangements for Muhammad Izzat’s remains, given the restrictions on foreign nationals entering Taichileik.
Muhammad Izzat’s body would be laid to rest in Myanmar.
Harsh Reality of Human Trafficking
Earlier reports indicated that the victim had been promised a job opportunity before being reported missing on 7 October.
Muhammad Izzat was the youngest of eight siblings and left behind a widow and two young sons aged 6 and 4.
This devastating incident highlights the urgent need for comprehensive measures to combat human trafficking and protect vulnerable individuals from falling prey to such heinous crimes.
The Malaysian community mourns the loss of Muhammad Izzat and calls for justice to be served in this tragic case.
Unveiling the Global Plague: Human Trafficking’s Far-Reaching Impact
Human trafficking is a significant issue in Myanmar, with the country being both a source and destination for trafficking.
Both forced labour and forced prostitution are common in the country, affecting men, women, and children.
Myanmar’s systemic political and economic problems have made the Burmese people particularly vulnerable to trafficking.
Meanwhile, Malaysia is identified as a source, transit point, and destination for trafficking.
The case of Muhammad Izzat highlights the severity of this issue.
The US Department of State’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report categorizes Malaysia as a Tier 2 country, meaning that it does not fully meet the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.
The Malaysian government has taken steps to address the issue of human trafficking, including establishing the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Council (MAPO), which works to coordinate efforts to combat human trafficking and protect victims.
However, more must be done to prevent vulnerable individuals from being trafficked and bring those responsible to justice.