Workers trapped in Cambodian human-trafficking hubs forced to perpetuate massive global scams
Chinese nationals, as young as 15 years old, are being trafficked and forced to work in online gambling and scam companies in Sihanoukville, according to pleas for help sent to a group of Chinese volunteers that rescues victims of human trafficking in Cambodia.
A remote, city-like compound owned by U.S.-blacklisted tycoon Try Pheap is housing online scam operations of thousands of workers rife with forced labor, detention and unexplained deaths, trafficking victims and rescuers allege.
Police rescued a woman from a quarantine center for Try Pheap’s Special Economic Zone in Pursat on Wednesday night. But she had merely wanted to leave “because it was too quiet,” an official said, without answering why police intervention was needed.
Military police spokesperson Eng Hy said Cambodian and Thai authorities had rescued 103 Thai nationals from a Pursat province special economic zone on Tuesday morning and brought the individuals across the border on Wednesday morning.
As accusations of forced labor and confinement at scam operations across Cambodia come to the fore, two Thai nationals spoke to VOD about how they were detained and duped into scamming other people at sites in Poipet and Sihanoukville.
Forty-nine Thai nationals were sent back to Thailand this week, but a Banteay Meanchey police official said there was no need to investigate if they were trafficked and forced to work.
Four Pakistani nationals were kidnapped in Sihanoukville and held against their will by a foreign company, the Pakistani Embassy said on Thursday