scam operations
A screenshot from a Youtube video promoting the website OL669, posted on September 29, 2022.

Warning Issued Over Football-Themed Investment Scam

The anti-cybercrime police said it was investigating complaints of fraud against a football-themed investment that allegedly lured people to send money before cutting off their withdrawals, and urged caution around online investments.

Workers remove barbed wire from a Sihanoukville compound in September 2022. (Mech Dara/VOD)

Scam Raids Hit 10 Provinces: Interior Minister

Interior Minister Sar Kheng acknowledged the buying and selling of foreign workers, plus violence and forced labor, at Cambodian compounds after police responded to 600 calls for help across at least 10 provinces.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng at a meeting to address human trafficking, held in Phnom Penh on Friday, August 26, 2022. Photo from the Facebook page of Sar Kheng.

Trafficking Rescues Reach Oddar Meanchey

Authorities have rescued 75 foreign nationals from a border town in Oddar Meanchey province following raids against online scam operations in Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and elsewhere — though a local police official argued the work being done with forced labor was “normal.”

The barbed wire fence surrounding a building complex, called "Jincai" by one worker, where workers are allegedly detained to perpetuate scams, on May 30, 2022. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Labor Ministry Clarifies: Confining Workers Is Illegal

Both Cambodian and foreign workers must be allowed to leave their workplaces after work, the Labor Ministry clarified during a press conference on Wednesday, while deflecting a question about the nature of global scams being perpetrated out of Cambodia.

Workers compounds in Svay Rieng’s Bavet city on October 7, 2022. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Echoes of Sihanoukville Troubles in Cambodian Border Town

As police raids have hit known scam locations and “illegal gambling” dens across the country, residents of casino haven Bavet say they have seen buses ferrying in hundreds of workers over the last few weeks to existing casinos and alleged scam compounds in the border town.

The "Welcome to Batam" sign on a hillside in Batam city, Indonesia on July 16, 2022. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Learning to Scam Under the Threat of Tasers

Indonesian nationals rescued from a Phnom Penh scam compound say they were targeting Facebook users every day to cheat them out of thousands of dollars. Most are relieved to have gotten away from the criminal work and threat of violence that hovered over them.

An immigration detention center in Sihanoukville on July 5, 2022.

Woman Pleads in Khmer for Scam Rescue

Thousands of viewers have circulated a video online of a woman pleading in Khmer for rescue from forced labor at a Sihanoukville scam center.