Filipino trafficking victim in Cambodia speaks up on abuses of Chinese bosses | Global News

Filipino trafficking victim in Cambodia speaks up on abuses of Chinese bosses

/ 12:32 PM January 18, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — A Filipino who was trafficked to Cambodia and forced to work as a cryptocurrency scammer spoke up about her experiences and sufferings abroad.

A woman under the alias “Miles” reached out to the office of Senator Risa Hontiveros, which then shared a video of the victim’s interview on Wednesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Miles arrived in Cambodia in October last year and returned to the Philippines on January 16.

Miles, who was trafficked out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and into Thailand, said that victims first land in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries before traveling to Cambodia.

FEATURED STORIES

She worked for Chinese bosses in Kep Province in Cambodia, located on the boundary of Vietnam and Cambodia.

“‘Yung working condition po namin, ‘yung office po namin nasa baba po siya at marami po kaming gamit na cell phone gamit pang-text at saka panghanap na po ng iba pang kliyente tapos mayroon din po kaming kanya-kanyang PC (personal computer). Tapos ang pagtulog po namin sa accommodation, wala naman pong problema po doon kasi sa taas naman po kami. Ang problema lang po namin ay pagkain, hindi po namin makain,” she recalled.

(When it comes to our working conditions, our office is on the lower floor and we have several cell phones for texting and finding clients, and we have our own PC. We do not have a problem with accommodation because it is upstairs. Our problem is food; we could not eat it.)

Miles narrated that as cryptocurrency scammers, they send a “wrong” text to Americans, Canadians, and other nationalities. If they reply, the workers will socialize and eventually swindle them.

ADVERTISEMENT

“May step po kasi ‘yan, step 1 to 3. Parang magkukwentuhan muna kayo, ishe-share mo ‘yung buhay mo sa kanya, business mo. Tapos ‘yung pangatlong araw, magshe-share ka kung ano ‘yung pinagkakakitaan mo. Lalo kang nag-e-earn hanggang sa ayain mo siyang mag-invest sa platform,” she said.

(There are three steps. First, you will talk about your life and your business. On the third day, you will share how you earn. You get more money until you lure them to invest in the platform.)

At first, the victims were given a break from work. However, it was removed in December last year when they started to have fewer clients. They were made to work for 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

ADVERTISEMENT

Miles said that another employee was even electrocuted.

Hontiveros lamented the incident and is trusting the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to rescue Filipino victims in Cambodia.

“Filipinos are becoming the main target of human trafficking syndicates. Matapos nating matulungan ang ilang Pinoy sa Myanmar na inaabuso at sapilitang pinagtrabaho bilang crypto scammer, ngayon, malalaman nating meron din palang ganitong modus sa Cambodia. These fraud factories are part of a disturbing industry that has to be dismantled,” she said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

(After we helped some Filipinos who were abused and forced to work as crypto scammers in Myanmar, now we find out that there is a similar modus in Cambodia.)

“I trust that our DFA can bring our kababayans (fellow Filipinos) home as soon as possible. I also expect that we keep closely working with ASEAN member-states to strategize how to effectively put a lid on these criminal activities. It is unacceptable that this devastating scheme keeps roping in our hardworking men and women,” she went on.

Last year, the opposition senator revealed that a Chinese mafia was planning to lure Filipinos to form an all-Filipino scammer team in Myanmar, noting that Filipinos are chosen due to their English language proficiency.

READ: Hontiveros: Chinese mafia plans all-Filipino scammer team in Myanmar

The Department of Migrant Workers then said that they are looking into similar cases in Cambodia and Laos.

For Hontiveros, incidents of Filipinos being abused and taken advantage of in different countries may be linked to one another.

“Clearly, this is an industrial complex that involves various actors from around Southeast Asia and beyond. Baka kone-konektado ang mga kriminal na nang-aabuso at nananamantala ng mga Pilipinong nais lamang maghanap ng disenteng trabaho,” she said.

(Criminals who abuse and take advantage of Filipinos who just want to find decent jobs may be connected to one another.)

The senator then appealed to Filipinos to be vigilant against illegal recruiters.

“Makipag-ugnayan muna sa POEA (Philippine Overseas Employment Administration) bago sumabak sa mga trabahong nakikita sa social media. Habang nilulutas natin ang kawalan ng hanapbuhay sa Pilipinas, dapat may matatag na plano at proseso na rin tayo sa gobyerno sa pagsugpo ng human trafficking sa bansa,” she said.

(Coordinate with Poea first before pursuing the job you see on social media. While we are working to solve the lack of livelihood in the Philippines, there should be a strong plan and process to curb human trafficking.)

je
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: abuse, Cambodia, Filipino, Human trafficking
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our global news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2023 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.