Crime & Justice

Some 121 Malaysian labor scam victims in Myanmar repatriated

Bangkok, Dec 1 (EFE).- Some 121 Malaysian victims of labor scams arrived Friday in Kuala Lumpur after being rescued in a conflict zone in northern Myanmar where the military junta is fighting rebel forces.

The victims were received by Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamad Alamin upon their arrival at the Kuala Lumpur airport from Kunming, in China, after having spent days blocked in Laukkaing, on the other side of the border with Myanmar, state news agency Bernama reported.

The minister told the media that 128 workers were stranded in Myanmar and his government is working to evacuate the remaining seven.

Alamin did not give details about the situation in which the workers were, but said the rescued victims must testify before police to gather evidence about a possible labor scam and recalled the danger of accepting job offers abroad through social media.

Northern Myanmar is one of the hot spots for Chinese mafias who deceive workers from across Southeast Asia to work in centers where, upon arrival, they are locked up and forced to carry out cyber scams.

A recent United Nations report said at least 120,000 people are held in centers in Myanmar where they are forced to carry out scams, while in Cambodia, the other base of these crimes, it is estimated that there are about 100,000 people.

The opacity of these businesses, operated by Chinese mafias, makes it difficult to know the total numbers, but it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of people in Southeast Asia are deceived or directly kidnapped to work in these centers and carry out cyber scams, a business that generates millions of dollars.

However, the situation seems to have changed since August due to the more determined action of China, which has put pressure on the Myanmar military junta and has carried out several operations with it to dismantle some of these human trafficking networks. EFE


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