DFA: Around 50-100 Filipino victims of ‘crypto trafficking’ are in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos
MANILA, Philippines — There may be as many as 50 to 100 overseas Filipinos who are victims of cryptocurrency trafficking rings in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.
DFA Undersecretary Eduardo Jose De Vega said this as the department recently rescued and repatriated eight Filipino human trafficking victims from Myanmar, four of whom were crypto-trafficking victims.
“I would say there are as many as 50 to 100 [victims] in each of these countries in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia,” he said when asked in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel of how many victims have fallen under the crypto-trafficking scheme.
He said the four victims from Myanmar, who are all males, were recruited in Dubai via online.
De Vega said at least two of the victims have overstayed their working visas in Dubai and were “essentially unemployed.”
“They saw these jobs online to work as computer encoders because that’s their skill. They did not know that they would be entering Myanmar,” he said.
He said they were brought to Bangkok, Thailand and then to Mae Sot and from there they were brought to Myanmar.
The DFA official noted that illegal recruiters are targeting Filipinos who are already abroad online, which is a sign that the Philippine immigration borders are tightening restrictions.
“We hope we are going to stem the numbers, it’s not going to rise to the hundreds and hundreds,” he said.
De Vega assured the public that there will be “more similar repatriations” to rescue overseas Filipino victims from human trafficking.